My unexpected encounter with Prince.

HIS ABSENCE IS OUR WINTER. I POSTED THIS LAST YEAR AFTER I HEARD THAT PRINCE PASSED. MAY HE RIP IN PURPLE HEAVEN .

ME AND PRINCE. The first week I moved to LA, I got an internship with a huge production company which specialized in music videos. I applied for the internship in case I didn’t get accepted to film school. I was determined to become filmmaker , even if I didn’t get into film school. IN any case on the second day of my internship a producer walks up to me and says . “How would you like to be a stand in for a big rock star? You are about his size and skin color. Are you interested?”
” Sure . Who is the rock star?”
” Oh we can’t tell you that. It’s top secret. Be on set tomorrow morning at 6 AM.” He handed me a call sheet.
The next day I am on set while they are lighting a scene with a rotating piano and purple and lavender flower petals all over the floor, and the DP says.
” Thanks Alex you can step off the set now.” I turned around and I was face to face with the one and only PRINCE. He just smiled and said.
” Uh, can we change places? ”
” Sure” I walked away. His vibe was other worldly. As if he was from another galaxy. It was the first time I was literally gripped by the intensity of an artist’s creative vibe. At this time I was not a huge Prince fan, but when I saw him playing different instruments and writing sheet music between takes, I knew that he truly was a genius.
On the sixth day of the shoot, I received news that I got accepted into USC FILM SCHOOL. I proudly showed my letter of acceptance to Prince’s band mates. Prince kinda chuckled at me, and called me over.
” Come here man.” He told me with a very base heavy voice.
” Congratulations, but don’t do it the Hollywood way. Break the rules, be innovative, take chances, and DO IT YOUR WAY. Otherwise you will make nothing interesting. ” He gave me a hearty pat on the shoulder. ” I”m telling you man, DO IT YOUR WAY. On the last day of filming, I was sitting on Prince’s piano bench , I looked down and saw Prince’s PEARL tie pin. I scooped it up and my mind flash forwarded to a fantasy scene that involved me giving Prince’s expensive tie pin to my brother PC who is a huge Prince fan . But my hand would not go into my pocket. As hard as I tried, my hand would not enter my pocket. And than I realized , that it was not the right thing to do. Than Prince walks up and says.
” Can we change places again?”
” Sure” I said. Then I handed him his pearl tie pin .
” Dayum , I didn’t realize I lost it. ” He exclaimed as he put it back on
” YOu’re a good guy. Most people would have taken it and auctioned it on EBAY.”
” Well” I sheepishly admitted ” I was tempted to pocket it and give it to my little brother who is your biggest fan in San Francisco” He laughed , showing off his perfectly aligned white teeth and said.
” You’re a good guy. And remember don’t go Hollywood. Than he looked over at his back up singer, the mighty and uber talented  Rosey Gaines, and said.
” Rosey pray for this brother because we don’t want him entering the devil’s den.” Rosey took me to the corner and prayed with me. ” Dear Father let this boy do good. Let him do good work and protect him from the dark forces ” When she finished Prince shouted AMEN!
This moment forever changed me as an artist. Thank you Prince ….may you dance to the Electric up there….for eternity. Family and Friends, Brothers and Sisters, he was one of the greatest of all times. There is divine purpose to EVERY ENCOUNTER we have while walking this earth. Thank you again Prince.prince-purple-rain-ws-710

There is much good in this world.

 

Yesterday while racing home from Whole Foods on my sleek and shiny Fixie my oversized wallet fell out of my jacket. It bounced off the hot asphalt and landed on the edge of the street near the feet of a construction worker. He scooped it up and ran it over to the construction Site supervisor . The supervisor rifled through my wallet and pulled out my Drivers License. Than he went to Facebook and looked me up. There were too many Alex Munoz’s, so he searched through my wallet again and found my Raider Image gift card. He went to the Raider Fan page and found a comment I left the other day about LYnch joining the Raiders. He left a comment that said. ” Can someone please call Aleks Munoz and tell him I have his wallet?” One of my friends called me and told me about the message. I FB mailed the supervisor. He gave me the address of the construction site, so I raced over. The Site Supervisor was named Kimo, a big stocky Hawaiian dude. I told him ” Mahalo” as he handed my my wallet. He showed me the tattoos of Kailua and the island of Oahu on his forearms. He smiled as I told him about how much I dig the MANA in Hawaii.
” Can I meet your worker who found my wallet?” I asked.
” Sure” said Kimo. Than he got on his Walkie Talkie and said.
” Can you tell Joe to come down from the roof? The guy whose wallet he found is here and wants to thank him.”
Moments later a big Latino dude covered with tats walks up.
” I just wanted to thank you for finding and returning my wallet.” I told him. He just laughed.
” I yelled at you but you didn’t hear me , cuz you had your head phones on and you were going hella fast. ” He took off his sunglasses, cocked his head and looked at me.
” Alex Munoz?” He asked.
” Yeah.” I replied. ” Do I know you?”
” Yeah man! It’s me Joe! I was in your film class at  Camp Gonzales about 10 years ago! ” Than I realized who he was. He gave me a big bear hug. Due to California State Law I cannot include his last name. But Joe was a stand out student in one of my FYI FILMS workshops. He is 28 now. He showed me photos of his twin daughters.
“What are you doing on Easter?” he asked?
“No plans” I told him.
” Than come over for Easter man. Give me your number.”
I gave him my number, in awe of the serendipitous encounter.
I thanked Joe and shook Kimo’s hands. I took my head phones and placed them in my back back. I rode my bike home at a much slower pace and felt my heart smile. This world is full of good people.

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Happy Birthday to my twin brother

While in our mother’s womb, I was below while my brother was above. He was ready to enter the world, but my body needed a few more weeks of much needed nourishment. He was anxious to to exit, and so the doctors delivered me as a premature baby 5 minutes before my brother arrived. My brother practically lept from our mother’s womb, and I was placed in an incubator for two weeks. ” While in the incubator I thought to myself. ” My punk brother pushed me out! ” There is great magic and mischief in being a twin. We would switch classes every April Fools Day and our teachers never caught on! In high school my twin brother dated some girl who happened to be the girl friend of the most menacing gangster on the East Side. . He spotted me on the streets and threw me against a bright brick wall and said ” Don’t F#*$(%_ K with my Lady , you hear me? ” But I’m not Joey” I explained. I pulled out my student id and showed it to him. He threw my ID card to the ground and said. ” Don’t lie to “Lil Killa” , cuz you will be crushed. ” Why would you wanna do that? You’ll just go to jail and see no ladies at all” I explained. He let me to the ground and said. ” You must really think I’m stupid” I just smiled and tried to amplify my logical thinking. Than he started laughing, and after that day my name with that gang became ” Lil Smarty Boy”. My twin brother and I always call the same relatives within the same our on the same day, and many members of our family orginailly thought we pre planned these twin calls, but this is just one aspect of twin magic. One day I was driving in LA and heard that song ” Louie Louie” and my brother calls me on the phone and says to me. ” Remember that song Louie Louie”
” Yes ” I replied I’m listening to it right now.” Last night I decided to call my twin brother to wish him an early happy birthday. When he answered he said. ” I knew you would call today. Tomorrow I’ll be flying all day and will not have my phone on.” Last twin tale. One weekend my brother went to my grandparents house , and he put me in charge of his pet mouse Beannie. Beannie was snow white with bright sapphire blue eyes. And some loco little field gangsta mouse kept invading Beanie’s cage. This little thug mouse would beat up on Beannie and eat all his food. So as a secret plan I decided to catch this little thug mouse, so I set a trap and placed a huge chuck of cheddar cheese as bait. I figured I would surprise my brother on his return and tell him about my personal triumph of catching that bullying thug mouse. The night before my brother’s return the mouse trap went off. I lept to my feet, and my heart sank because in the mouse trap was Beannie’s lifeless body. I did not sleep the rest of the night. In the morning I figured I would go to the pet store and buy another white mouse. I figured my brother would never notice the difference, but than I realized that it was a cop out rationalization. I needed to face up to my brother tell him the truth. No matter how much it hurt. I thought my brother would be so angry at me and not speak to me for a year. We did everything together. I played second base, he played short stop. In football we were both defensive backs, and in basketball we were both guards. We shared the same intuition so we did well when playing on the same sports teams. So my brother comes home and I had to tell him. ” Beannie died. And it’s my fault. ” I told him to his face. ” Don’t worry about it. I’ll get a new mouse.” He let it go. He forgave me on the spot. This is how my twin brother is. He does not hold grudges and deep in his heart he is kind and understanding. BTW he scored more points than me in basketball, but I always led the team in assists. And most of my assists were to him… Yeah, we are still kinda competitive…. Happy Birthday Joey aka JOSE! #twins4ever#dinghapowa!14352453_10153712376981338_7457109809312415566_o.jpg

On Beyonce’s spellbinding performance from a non Bee Hive member.

Beyonce’s otherworldly and super transcendent performance last night, still has me dreaming. I”m still processing. I have never been an eye witness to such a spell binding and visually seductive live performance. She took a stand not only for Black Women but also for Black Mothers. Their hopes, their dreams, their pain, their joyousness anchored in divine Motherhood. What she expressed last night, transformed her into the tip of the spear of the collective black female consciousness. It was rapturous. It was exquisite. It was unforgettable. Full of soul and rich in ancestral spirit. She pulled a Queen Elizabeth and became super immortal last night with her vivid Goddess like imagery. I need to watch again and process more. I have not heard LEMONADE in it’s entirety, but I plan to now. Was never a huge Beyonce fan, (@beehive, don’t knit your brow!) but I have always respected her work ethic, drive, ambition and sublime creativity. But wow……that was truly inspiring, I had the chills during her performance. I am grateful that she made me feel something deeply, as I have been numbed up, closed off and guarded since November 8. There is such a prominent element of artifice in the entertainment industry. And at times the monstrous entertainment machine feels broken and soul dead. Last night Beyonce soulified the music industry. Continue reading

The doggy and the white out

A few month’s ago, I was traveling the “haunted highway” 152. As I ascended up a steep hill, we entered thick low cloud that seated itself comfortably on the green rolling hills. I could not see for more than 2 feet in front of my car. I had to stop. I was stuck in a WHITE OUT. The CHP were on every side of us announcing by megaphone that all cars must stop. I stepped out of my car. I looked around. We were surrounded by walls of thick white. I thought I was at a Utah Jazz home game. Hundreds of cars were in front of me , with hundreds more behind me. It was like a spooky scene out of THE SHINING. You could not even see your hand if you positioned it in front of your face. Everyone turned their cars and music off. Suddenly a woman started shouting for her minitaure Schnauzer named SUNNY. ” Help!” she cried. ” My dog jumped out and I can’t find her. HELP” Her voice rattled me, because it sounded familiar, as if my spirit knew her.
” What kind of dog is it?” Yelled someone.
” She is a white miniature Schnauzer! Her name is SUNNY, and she is white! SUNNY! SUNNY!|
” How the hell we gonna find a damn white dog in this spooky cloud!” Yelled another man.
” Does the dog have a name tag on it’s collar” a woman shouted. Maybe we can hear your dog?”
” NO! ” yelled the dog owner. ” She lost her dog id tag when we were in SF. And there is a cliff to the right, and I don’t want her to fall off the cliff. Please someone help me? SUNNY!”
” Hell no. I’m not gonna fall off some damn cliff looking for an invisible dog” yelled the grumpy man.
Everyone shouted messages of helpfulness. ” I’ll help” shouted one woman. ” I”l help too!” Yelled an elderly man.
” Don’t worry! We will find your dog!” Yelled a teen age girl. None of us could see each other, and the ominous cloud seemed to thicken.
” We ain’t gonna find no white dog in a white out.” Yelled the grumpy man.
Suddenly we heard a doggy whimper.
” Hey! I heard a dog whine. ” I yelled.
Several of us moved slowly in the direction of the dog whimper.
I bumped into two people and we quickly greeted each other. One was a field worker from Mexico, another was a Doctor from Bakersfield. We all held hands to create a gentle net. We were approaching the doggy whimper , when suddenly a woman, sung in an operatic voice ” I FOUND YOUR DOG! I FOUND SUNNY!” Everyone started
APPLAUDING and CHEERING. When we made contact with the woman who found the dog, we asked her if she was a professional singer. ” Yes, she replied, I am an Opera Singer in Europe. ” The woman who owned SUNNY started panicking.
” I can’t find you! Where are you! I can’t see. ” The Opera Singer, began singing an aria so that the dog owner could find her.
” Keep singing! I am close to you! ”
Finally the woman found us.. She quickly grabbed Sunny whose tail was wagging like there was no tomorrow.” The cloud began to lift and everyone surrounded the woman and her dog. Happy that they were reunited. I stepped towards the woman who owned the dog, and as the cloud dissipated I realized it was a fellow USC Alum, Laura. During my first year in film school I was short on tuition and she secretly paid my tuition so that I could stay in film school. I offered to pay her back when my scholarship check came in late , but she would not take it. I did not bond with many people while attending film school, but Laura and I bonded the minute we met. We embraced and exchanged phone numbers. I have tried to locate her over the last 5 years, but she relocated to NY. In any case. This story for me, is a metaphor for what most Americans are going through. We are stuck in a zone of uncertainty. We cannot see what is going to happen tomorrow. And in this moment we need each other. We need to work together and not allow our country to become lost, or go over the cliff. For me the dog represents American core values which we are determined to take back and protect. Continue reading