My humble thoughts as one guy with opinions about life, love, religion, society, politics, parenting... yada, yada, yada.

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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Rest In Peace to James Avery... About 10 years ago I was a film student with BIG dreams... I wrote a short film entitled "A Christmas Wish" and was determined to have an Hollywood actor in it. I'd been to a bunch of African American Film Festivals where black actors talk a good game about about giving back and opening doors for people like me, so I went to work faxing the agents, managers, publicists and lawyers of just about every known black male actor in Hollywood (as the part was written) - You name'em, I reached out to them, from the top on down... I got a couple of gracious responses from folks like Bill Duke , Philip Michael Thomas and Lou Gossett Jr... But (as you might suspect) none from anyone else EXCEPT JAMES, who had roots in the area and agreed to help....

James didn't come as a Hollywood diva... He came bearing wisdom and insight as an actor, as a man and as an African American who had walked the path I dared to tread... When I thanked him profusely for traveling all the way to Portsmouth VA for free, he joked to put me at ease...
And when I lamented to him about all the money I was spending, he told me 'Well this is the time to risk because you're young and you'll recover." - the best advice my wife wishes I never got, lol.   I mean, he taught in between takes. He taught in between car rides, and on his way to the hotel, and on his way to the airport... He just gave and gave... And when we realized that the audio had HUGE problems (as will often happen on student film and had to travel out to L.A. to ADR he gave some more...

I'm not sure what will be said during his eulogy... But if I could speak on his behalf, I'd say that he was one of the few people that I'd ever reached out to - walking on faith with my heart on my sleeve - who actually considered that his generosity could literally change the course of my life and my career...  And here I am, a decade later, with much less hair (that's graying), married to the girlfriend he'd charmed, with three kids and I'm realizing how much he will forever be apart of my story, my testimony and my journey - as well as others.... 

It's funny... I'd always envisioned a future where I'm some hot-shot director who could finally call him up and repay him for what did for me But life doesn't always work as planned, so the very least I could do is share who he was with the world in the hopes that it will inspire others....

THANK YOU JAMES, for you were literally "The One and Only" as far as my story goes.

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