scratching the surface

“what a difference a year makes.” i’ve heard that phrase over and over and over again, but today more than any other, it means something more. maybe less? “what a difference a year makes.” how do i begin to sum up the massively overwhelming journey on which which my heart has been going for the past year. this is where the cue of “in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee…” would normally suffice, but somehow those meaningful words have been reduced to the tin-like sound of a jungle.

you know what’s funny? i’ve actually started about 300 blogs dedicated to this very subject, but never had the guts to finish. some would call it avoidance. and others would call it focus. either way, it hurts. perhaps the fear of what emotions would come sloshing out stopped me. maybe it was the fear that my heart would be vacant of anything substantial. either way, it hurts.

i miss my brother. i miss him with all of my heart and i can’t say how many times i’ve tried unsuccessfully to bargain with death and promised my left arm in order to be able to send brandon a facebook message and have him reply. some days i wake up and know that he’s still alive and other days i am paralyzed because i know that my family returned his cold shell to the earth.

one year ago today.

i’ve been looking for the right words…the right time…the right way to feel, but none of those things exists. my heart is broken in 24 pieces — one for each year that he had the chance to live — and i wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worse enemy. i find myself shifting between extreme levels of productivity and locking myself in and wanting to avoid the light of day. i had the thought, “if i could just look into his killer’s eyes. see him. ask him why.” but, y’know? that won’t bring him back. not for a second. someone asked me the other day if i could have 5 minutes with anyone past or present, who would it be and why. bob fosse, because the man was a genius. jesus, because i wanna ask about the stories he told…and my brother, because i want to tell him one last time that i love him.

a lot of people think i’m a work-a-holic. that my dream of self-producing this series is crazy. that i need to be in one place in order to “settle down.” but i’m sorry. i can’t stop working. and my dreams i’m living for him. and i won’t settle down and if that means that i’m lonely for the rest of my life then so be it. i visited home for his birthday and i stood at his grave and promised him that i wouldn’t quit. and i won’t. i’ll keep that commitment even if hurts. i’m fully aware that i’m not the first person who’s lost a sibling and i know that i won’t  be last, but missing brandon is now a part of my story. no, you don’t get over it; you just learn to live with it. and that’s just scratching the surface. and i wonder who’ll understand as i see people forget. and i try with all of my heart to keep you alive because i think deep down inside that maybe…just maybe i can reverse the permanency of death. i guess it’s the kid in me. the same kid in me that was in you that made you believe that i couldn’t kick your ass in a foot race.

today, brother, i celebrate you. the jokes you played. the stunts you pulled. the arguments we had. i celebrate your giving heart and you height and your stature. i celebrate your fatherhood and your desire to be more. i celebrate your love.

miss you, b.



as some of you know, to celebrate my revolution around the sun i decided to go to the dominican. i wanted a great souvenir so i came back 4 shades darker. i also came back with a few things that planted themselves within my spirit.

dominican fathers.

IMG_8796i observed something very interesting about dominican fathers…something that my washington heights surveillances happened to omit most of the time. dominican fathers love their children. they coddle their tykes with such a specific care. i was at breakfast and there was a little girl — maybe two years old — kneeling on her papi’s lap facing him and she had his oversized head in her little hands and she just kept kissing his face. i couldn’t see her father’s eyes, but i didn’t need to to know that he was in heaven. the way these two were playfully fawning over one another was heart-touching.

someone will make up your mind for you.

also at breakfast (another day) someone was in line behind me at the french toast station where the chef was making french toast to order. the chef asked the someone behind me, “how many?”

“oh. um…i uh…”

“three? four? four.”


maybe he wanted one or two. but he’s gettin’ four today. why? cause he hadn’t made up his mind. i know it’s only french IMG_8807toast, but right then and there i decided that i wouldn’t be like the guy in line. i want to have my mind made up about things so that people can’t do that for me. it’s my life. i’m not subscribing to being in control as much as i am just being decided and decisive.

just take some time and make an effort.

at dinner a table full of women — obviously from the midwest with their crocheted beach covers and massive straw hats protecting their curly heads from the sun leaving their bright brown eyes and ear-to-ear toothy smiles exposed — were trying to recall spanish lessons from over 3 decades ago. it was funny witnessing them scrape up words that weren’t words in any language in order to communicate to the staff. the staff was laughing. they were laughing and the back-and-forth between the two parties made my heart smile. they were making an effort. they were trying. no. they weren’t perfect. and maybe they did asked for “bathroom” on their fruit, but they were making an effort and that meant the world to the wait staff. it set both entities up for somewhat of a magical time.

every war has an end.

on my last day i was being driven back to the airport and as i drove through the city of puerto plata (spanish for “silver port”) i leaned against my window and drank in the sites of the city outside of my resort. the huts. the backstreets. the mountains. the people. the people…

we drove past a group of young men who were washing cars and one of them turn around and — appropriate to the fact that i was leaving — the back of his shirt said “every war has an end.” no. there was no war and i had an amazing time, but that just make me think. i know a lot of times we’re going through some tough shit. we’re trying to figure out who we are…negotiate that with who other people think/know who they are…we’re trying to find a love with which to settle down…that cause for which to live…and a battle ensues. we struggle. we fight and sometimes we wonder “will this ever end? will this ever be over?” the answer is yes. every war has an end. even if there are casualties and missing limbs…every war has an end. and you throw wide the windows of expectation and pray that the rays of the sun of fulfillment run throughout your situation. whether or not that happens, your war will have an end. there is a light at the end, even if that light IS the end.

and lastly…

IMG_8898sir? your feet.

i flew from puerta plata to miami then miami to l.a. when i got to my seat for the 5-hour flight back to l.a. the two people in my row had already arrived and settled in. i had a window seat so when i arrived, they both darted up so i could get to my seat. i planned on staying up so that i could put myself back on west coast time and i got all settled in. then it happened. the guy next to me took off his shoes. within second the most rancid-ly putrid stench started coming from this older gentleman’s feet. it literally smelled like vomit.


less than a minute later the back half of the plane was coughing and tossing out their exclamations as to how bad the smell was. i gagged and covered my nose with my teddy bear and tried not to breathe through my mouth for fear of tasting it. (now that i think about it i swear it had a color. y’know…like on the cartoons. and  was green. green and yellow. and black…) you guys…it smelled. like. vomit. if someone had thrown up but kept it in their mouths and proceeded to blow in your nose…that’s…that’s what it smelled like.  if your stomach is turning and you’re grossed out, you get not a sliver of sympathy from me because i was there. less that a foot away from his feet. trying NOT to throw up in my mouth. then someone decided to spray a minty something or other. minty vomit. cause yeah…THAT’S a good idea. but did he put them back on? nope. he left them off the WHOLE FLIGHT. vomit. it was gross. i asked god to forgive me for every bad thing that i’d done in my life as i wondered if this moment was him releasing punishment. i told him i’d give up beer and cookies if he would just rob me of my sense of smell…FOR FIVE HOURS. FIVE. 5. one, two, three, four, five. FIVE. hours. i was as close to the Imagewindow as i could be the whole flight. like vomit.

point: please…people please please PLEASE! be aware of your feet…feet being the areas of your life where you know you stink. clean it up. get yourselves together. stop being mean to people. stop being selfish. think about other people. assume the best. stop fuNking up the air with your filth and mess. this isn’t a heartless statement, but rather an i-know-you-have-it-in-you-to-be-amazing statement. find your best self and live in it. yeah?

so that’s my trip. 🙂



1508202_10103389203176483_2102954586_ni’m sitting in the airport right now in toronto waiting to board my flight. it’s a surreal feeling, thinking about the fact that 12 hours ago i was in the middle of my last show of tour. i was onstage with 25 other heavenly bodies (including swings and our constant musicians) and we all stuffed yet another experience in our pockets while parading fishnets and mesh shirts and leather vests…collecting blue notes and hip thrusts…waving batons, stroking keys, banging high hats…supporting an intelligently written and designed piece of art. last night as the lights hit our bodies i heard the echo of every spirit from this show’s reincarnation at encores back in 1996 bolt through the halls of the past and slink about the stage. every finger snap, every tea cup hand, every sinister laugh painting yet another stroke onto the canvas of this show’s history.

this leg of the tour was like an emotional boot camp. i’ve felt the lowest i’ve ever felt in my life and i’ve felt the highest i’ve ever felt. i’ve learned a lot about myself and took notes on the world around me, traveled all over the world, and i’ve discovered that more pockets of beauty exist than meets the eye. (and through that discovery, those pockets have met my heart as well.) i’ve learned that “boop” can be a noun or a verb and that some people can poo 4x a day. not only that, but there’s a right way to talk to people and family is important and that when push comes to shove…everyone just wants to be loved.

to address the family that was just shaped over the last 7 months, i’m proud of each and every one of you. i’m proud of you for the process and for the journey on which you allowed yourself to go. i know that at times it would have been easier to give up and punch a cat, but at the heart of it, you each consistently brought something so special TO something so special that magic HAD to happen. (anything less wasn’t an option for us.) i could say that our parting is bittersweet, but i’ll focus more on the sweet (only cause that’s what i do)…i can’t wait to read your fb status about new loves and new opportunities…about workshops and performance endeavors…about this new thing or that new thing…about the fact that you are still. going. strong. if i could say anything to you right now (including the people who did NOT have to monitor eating so they could avoid the appearance of a food baby aka anyone not in my cast) i’d say keep going. i’m sure you will, but i’ll say it anyway. keep going. if you don’t have a goal, find one. if you have one, attain it. if you’re unsure about the goal you have, be open to change it. and if something is telling you that “you’ll never…,” press into that passion like you never have before. there are plenty of shady people in the world (in this business) but they can’t touch your blaze. continue to own who you are and love what you do. continue to make love. continue to speak peace. continue to take care of the people around you and (sometimes) expect it to be difficult…but it’s always worth it. i think we’re all stronger. and little wiser now.

I have to say thank you to everyone from producer to casting director to stage management to dresser…thank you for your love and patience and heart and soul. for the laughs. for the booze. for the butt smacks and “big fat booty hoes.” (i loves me them big fat booty hoes.)

man. we did it. and let this be a declaration to the world that while this CHAPTER has ended, our stories have not.

bowlers off. (until next time…)



let love.


i’ve been thinking a lot about love. love as fuel. love as a concept. love as means of motivation. love as an action. love as a noun…a person, a place, a thing, and idea…i’ve been thinking about how it’s given. i’ve been thinking about how it’s showed. i’ve been thinking about how it’s received. and to that end, about how it’s rejected. then i thought about the greatness of it.

i know i’ve said this before (and i’ll actually never stop saying it because of the truth that’s wrapped around the statement), but love is untouched/undisturbed by time or distance. it can blanket you in your darkest hour and deliver the most radiant bulks of light. it can unlock the most dank cabins of your mind and release the most fruitful thoughts that will cause a necessary uproar within the realms of any ideas that may leave you feeling unworthy. love can motivate you let go and at the same time give you the vigor your need to hold on. it can lessen the load of hopelessness and it can tightly hold your trembling hand and whisper softly in your ear, “it’s okay,” only to send charges of relief through your life’s veins. love — almost never meant to be understood…talk about a time-waster — is always there for unlimited deposit and withdrawal. love is the most extraordinary. it’s the biggest. it’s the most. it thwarts the malevolent. it stimulates the irreproachable. it inspires. it has staying power. love isn’t bitter and it doesn’t bloviate because it’s not about the giver; it’s about the object of the love given. so then in love, ego is lost. trepidation is lost. scandal is lost. and instead, room for fortitude and assurance is made.  it can go anywhere and achieve what can seem impossible. it can dissolve the greatest chains of distress and cause the pangs of loneliness to  be dispelled.

what if i looked you in the eye and you told you “(insert your name here), none of that can be yours…ever”? what if i told you that you no matter what you’re going through right now that you didn’t deserve it? shady. the things is, when we reject the people around us, we don’t give them an opportunity to love us, that’s exactly what we do…no matter how necessary their seed of love is to our wellbeing.  and when we take it upon ourselves to let what we feel is a justified opinion trump the bottom line, by taking our love and dangle it in the face of what should be the object of our love and saying, “nope. none for you today,” we tell another that they don’t deserve it. well, ours at least. it makes me wonder what the person is like, s/he who disregards others AND himself. neither case — rejecting or withholding — seems to benefit anyone.


the truth is, some people will never get it. they’ll choose to stay in one of those places. they will consistently choose to think they aren’t deserving enough or that they’re too hurt to be loved. they will constantly find themselves going from passion to anger and from discussion to debate and quite actually running away from the very thing they need. other people will continually hold their love ransom, only giving it to those they feel have earned it, which — in my humble opinion — is something a little different from love. there’s love to be had in every situation. every last one. we just gotta (want to) find it. sometimes it’s as obvious as a bird shitting on your hand. other times, it’s like finding the main speaker at a “where’s waldo?” convention. (side note: i’m not asking anyone to put their pearls around a pig’s neck. you don’t give the keys to a brand new mercedes to a 16-year-old who failed his driving test 6 times and runs into light posts on his bike. respect yourself always.)


every single day, until the day my body gets put into an urn to be used as fertilizer for a tree — i read this today and i think it’s legit, but it was on the internet so who knows? — i think i want to make it my business to focus on love. to just let it.  let it in. let it out. let it run its course. let it change me. let it define me. let it be shared. let it be received. because what else are we supposed to do with it?


twitter: @coreycor518

ig: @coreycor

destroy a mansion, get to paris.

there have been a number of things that have transpired over the last month or so that have forced me to value life and living a little more than i have been.  there’s been a bit of heart-ache and some disappointments not so much in my life but in the lives of those around me and because i love them, it affects me. paradigms have shifted and things that used to clench my attention are now specks in the grand scheme. no, i wasn’t a bump on a log, but somewhere in the back of my mind i used the excuse “well, i have time” to fluff myself up into believing that i could delay action for a bit.

the problem with that: tomorrow isn’t promised.

this past week i took a walk through the mansion of my past and remembered hallways and doors and wings that were cobwebbed over. i re-familiarized myself with its furniture and recognized the dust on some old pieces that were broken and unusable. i recalled why i’d shut the doors and why i’d neglected to keep this room clean or that room decorated. after a few tears i was silently enraged at the amount of time i spent ignoring things. then i did the only thing i felt right to do. i grabbed my balls and went ape shit. i started a gut-renovation project on all that crap. grabbed the sledge hammer of self-esteem and started destroying the rotted walls of what i’d let build up. i served notice to fear and evicted apathy and jackhammered the floors until I could see the marble foundation of that non-beneficial flooring cracking. i’ve never felt more free. thus, i am BEGINNING a new process.

when i was a kid, i used to dream. my family always had what we needed, but there wasn’t much room for “wants” very often so i silenced that part of me for a while. for so long a while in fact that i became used to it. earlier this week, i took that corey out back and strangled him. (sounds morbid, i know…but so is being too afraid to step out and do anything.) i destroyed my mansion and what waited for me on that lot was the foundation to build a different type of future. brick number one: i booked a trip to paris to take a film class and explore the city…because i WANT to. (if you wanna find out more information or help me get there, click here.)

here’s the thing: we learn to censor ourselves and edit our dreams and desires because we need to be “adult” and “wise.” sure. true. (balance.) but there’s an innocent disregard for failure that we must embrace if we want our dreams to be realized. and if we don’t, we can just carry on and be happy in our unhappiness and settle for “getting by.” it’s just a shame to think that there are so many pissed off and upset adults locking down ideas and plans of action that could be freedom to themselves and so many others.

what is your paris?


twitter: @coreycor518

instagram: @coreycor


“you can pick out any cereal you want.” my mom and i were grocery shopping when i was around 5 and because she was in a good mood, i was granted this gift. (anyone who knows me knows that i can eat cereal all day every day.)

“any cereal i want?”

“yeah. as long as it’s on sale.” (of course.) i ran a few feet away and pivoted towards the promised land: the cereal aisle. chocolate-based, fruit-based, granola-based (not on sale…ever), cinnamon-based, sugar-based…how would i decide? i scanned the boxes and bags of cereal to make sure that i got a comprehensive analysis of my options. but you’ll never believe what i decided i wanted — cornflakes. but here’s why: all of the other boxes only had cereal. this cereal had big, red,  juicy strawberries in it — i saw the picture on the box —  and it was on sale too. double score.

when i got home i was told that i had to wait the next morning to get my cereal. i was fine with that because it was my cereal. i didn’t have to share it. i didn’t have to ask permission. it was mine. i didn’t have to worry about someone else eating it all. the next morning i got dressed and ran to the kitchen, grabbed the biggest bowl my little hands could carry, ripped open the box, and poured all of my excitement into that bowl. the more and more i poured, the more and more my heart raced. i couldn’t wait to devour my loot. but slowly my excitement dimmed into delicate curiosity.

where were the strawberries?

pour, pour, pour. i continued to pour. just flakes. i grabbed another bowl. maybe they’re at the bottom? pour. pour. pour. no strawberries. i shook the box and tapped the bottom just to be sure i got everything out. i reached my arm in and felt the bottom to see  if i’d missed anything. nope. i got it all. empty.  i sat on the footstep that i’d used to climb up dumbfounded. i glanced back up at the box with my head in my hands and brow furrowed while i studied the picture of the bowl of cereal, white-as-snow milk and those strawberries. where were the strawberries that the front of this box promised me? i wanted to cry, but didn’t when my mom said to me, “baby, they don’t come with the strawberries. you have to putcha own in there.”

(insert vaudevillian look to the audience.)

if i can make a point with this story, let it be this: if there’s something in your life (cornflakes) that you want (strawberries) don’t assume that just because of other people’s successes (the picture on the box)  that it’ll just happen (they’ll just be in the box.) you have to add your OWN strawberries. slice ’em yourself. put ’em in there. stop talking. stop whining about what you don’t have. stop being pissed that no one’s GIVING you a chance and MAKE one. time out for the there’s-no-room-for-me syndrome. make room for yourself. you wanna write? then start doing it. you wanna sing? find a place. you wanna dance, choreograph, be a nanny, make dog biscuits, design clothing, invent new cornflakes (which i will NOT be buying from you)? get up off your duff and make something work. yes. there is a balance involved here, but please stop looking at the cornflakes in your life and wondering where the strawberries are. ideas are great! they’re awesome! but if you just talk about them? time to stop robbing the world of your contribution. facebook statuses about what you wanna do — though not bad — don’t count. dream journals of “things i wanna do,” don’t count. drunken weed parties with brilliant ideas don’t count….

…until you ACTIVELY and CONSISTENTLY pursue the things about which you’re giving lip service. you ain’t gotta have it ALL figured out. you just have to START something and give yourself the grace to finish it. you’re a perfectionist. i get it, but don’t let that be the thing to hold you back.

i’m super proud of the tony howells and the brent heusers in my life. the randy slovaceks. the jacob yanduras. the ben allens. the melissa emricos. the roque and andrea diazes. the ben harts. the amy querins. these guys and gals (and a slew of others) are my heros. they are the people have put their own strawberries into their cornflakes. they have gathered realism and planning, married the two, and proDUCED.

oh. and a quick message to all those people sitting in the peanut gallery chomping on your stale and spiteful popcorn of judgement when you see people do things that may not be what you think is “great”: i know you love providing your chewed up senseless commentary, but shut up.

no. i’m not angry. i’m impassioned…and slicin’ up my own strawberries.




today i woke up and my body creaked. i thought, “i’m aging.” i laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling and thought about a conversation that i’d had on yesterday with a good friend of mine and about how i wanted kids and how right now if that were to happen i would be a single dad as my range for potentials spans from where i’m standing to the tip of my nose. (in case you’re wondering, that means i ain’t got none.) but then i thought about my dad. and how when he was 17, i arrived and actually handed him the title “father.” i’m sure at that age he wasn’t yelling, “hey! let’s get pregnant” to my mom. but he did and here i am.

i thought about how when i was 17 i had the potential to reproduce, but i was graduating and thinking about colleges.  i thought about how when i was 19 i traveled all around the country and only needed to call home when i wanted. i thought about the romantic relationships i’d had in my early 20s and the success and mistakes that i made in them. i thought about how i moved to new york, then cali, then back to new york. i thought about how i spent my mid and late 20s touring internationally, shooting films out of the country, back-packing across europe. i thought about how sometimes i was down to my last dime (literally) but was glad that i only needed to take care of myself. i thought about the growth and development and appreciation for life that matured on the inside of me by way of a journey that was able to be taken alone. how i’m writing more…how i’m working on a production company…how — if i wanted to — i could move to france tomorrow. and i thought about where i am right now in life. single. childless, but with the greatest sense of adventure and a massive soon-to-be-errupted ball of success.

then a smile ran itself across my face. i am where i am…because of him. because of my dad. my dad didn’t get the chance to do all of that. he didn’t get the chance to go and fly and do and be whenever he wanted. and while he could have left, he stayed. he said, “this is my boy and i’m gonna take care of him.” i don’t have to know how that conversation went, but i know the man that i look at today is one of character. a man of excellence. a man that taught me how NOT to give up…

so dad, thank you for sacrificing your 20s so that i could have mine. thank you for all the tough moments when you went without so that i could go with. thanks for telling me ‘no.’ thanks for letting me kiss you goodbye when you dropped me off at school even into high school. thanks for finding that song on the radio for me to dance to. thanks for the summer vacations to pensacola beach. thanks for the silent treatment at times (cause even those helped me to develop an appreciation for you.) and while i can’t STAND that stupid effing motorcycle…i am completely in love with you.

i hope i make you proud. happy father’s day.

and, ma, if you’re reading this, please know that i feel exACTly the same about you. you’re a strong woman. you remember that time when you took my pink panther ice cream with the bubble gum eyes and crushed it with your bare hands because i was doing something out of line and didn’t really deserve to HAVE a pink panther ice cream? yeah. that’s when i realized just how strong you were. 😉


twitter: @coreycor518