Posts Tagged ‘Projects’

Hey folks,

I had a wonderful time on Monday and wanted to share a teaser trailer for one of my Prince related projects. Every shot I edited frame by frame and set it to the theme music from the 2016 remake of Roots.

Prince: An Unsung History is based on my essay, A Like-Minded Match.

Everyone knows of Prince’s rise to stardom but what if…there is more to the story?

The premise of Prince: An Unsung History is a documentary on my cousin’s ancestry and a journey that began long before Purple Rain.

Alex Haley wrote Roots, which told the story of his ancestors and family history.

To get Prince: An Unsung History from an idea to an actual production, will take several supporters. For now, it’s just in the planning stage. Will post more details for how things go.

In the meantime, enjoy this teaser trailer for Prince: An Unsung History.

See ya on Monday!


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My cousin Prince… missing you everyday…

“When the door closes, another one opens…I walk through it, with my head up…”- lyrics from “New Beginnings” by Bear and a Banjo.

Hey folks,

This will be my last full blog post before I send my laptop out for repairs.

Anyway, there’s a potential change in the ballgame regarding Prince’s estate.

It seems that two people who have come forward as possibly being his sons…yep, that’s right!

One of which tested 99 % positive on the DNA testing and another who had filed a claim but was sadly rejected due to restrictions by Minnesota state law.

If either of these individuals or both turn out to be Prince’s sons, they would inherit Prince’s royalties.

As for me, I did file a report with a genealogy firm looking for Prince’s relatives but for legal reasons, first and foremost…I’m not looking for personal gain from any of this and personally, am glad not to be caught in the courtroom drama. My report, however, was kept for documentation by the genealogy firm.

However, the court dismissed the search for Prince’s other relatives which includes extended family. Now before anyone says ‘I told you so!’ or anything… I was told by the genealogy firm about how a case like this could go and as it turns out, Minnesota’s law regarding an inheritance applies to immediate family only which includes a person’s wife, children, siblings, etc… extended family such as cousins like myself are exempt.

But that’s a NOT problem for me…just being related to Prince is what means a lot to me and something that holds a special place in my heart.

I am however, both hurt and angered by the comments regarding his sister Tyka and possible descendants.


Well, those who come forward with possibly being descendants of Prince, such as a son or daughter…I’m trying to keep an open mind because should any of them prove to be his offspring then that makes them my cousins too!

Like me, their lives were different before that tragic Thursday in April and they probably didn’t think much of the possibility of being related to Prince.

The 1980s was an open time and it’s not uncommon for people to have kids or siblings they never knew about. Examples I can think of are Oprah Winfrey who had a sister she never met until around 6 years ago and BB King had 15 children who have different mothers. Ray Charles also had a son from a previous relationship but sent a check every month to support the boy and his mother. The same could have happened to Prince.

As I said before, it hurts to read the things people write online about your family. Nobody likes to see anything like that especially on the internet for all to see.

Why I am keeping an open mind about Prince’s possible descendants is that as mentioned before, should they prove to be his offspring, then they’d be my relatives as well.

So, I only want to show kindness, sympathy and compassion towards them because there could come a time that I might cross paths with them some time in life.

If that happens, I for one would welcome the opportunity to meet my extended family. Even if they knew Prince or not, I believe getting to know them would be beneficial and help ease the pain of losing a loved one that we’ve all felt these past 90 days.

Plus, it would show that even though Prince is no longer around, a remnant of him is still here, in addition to Tyka and the other siblings.

Alex Haley wrote the book, Roots which told the story of his ancestors and family history.

I hope to write my own ‘Roots’ story about my ancestors and family whether it’s a book or documentary.

I believe Prince would have loved it. Quoting the song ‘New Beginnings’ by Bear and a Banjo:

“Every ending… is just a new beginning.”

And that’s it for now, until my laptop comes back from repairs…

See you in August!

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Hey folks

It’s Friday and also the opening day for The Secret Life of Pets.

The story focuses on the day to day lives of several pets living in New York City and what they do when their owners are at work or school…

Sound familiar?

Anyone reading this blog has likely read about my series, Hooked on Mutts.

Though it has a similar premise to The Secret Life of Pets there are some differences.

Hooked on Mutts was an idea I had developed long before this movie, the characters in my series are based on pets I’ve owned in real life in addition to ones that belonged to family, friends and neighbors with some original characters in-between. Then there’s the difference in the timeline and location with Hooked on Mutts being set in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Los Angeles.

But overall, the story originated from a what if question…’What if my dog left the house when I wasn’t at home and hung out with other pets in LA who did the same thing on a daily basis?’

Thus far, my idea has received 1st place in the concept/treatment category at the 2013 Beverly Hills Screenplay contest and positive feedback from a film/TV industry group I joined last Summer.

I still plan on getting it out there, possibly through crowdfunding.

Will post how things turn out, until then enjoy this trailer from The Secret Life of Pets:

See ya on Monday!

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Hey folks,

Wanted to share one of my latest projects.

It was raining yesterday so I decided to work on a video.

After Sheila E’s performance at the BET Awards, I thought she deserved something so I spent 7 hours(not including breaks) working on this video. Every shot was done frame by fame using Windows movie maker.

The video features several photos of Prince and Sheila E and some video footage. All of it is set to the song ‘I believe in You and Me’ sung by Whitney Houston.

I made this slideshow with Sheila E in mind, focusing on the friendship between she and Prince.

Link to video:

The 2 of Us: Prince & Sheila E.

In case Sheila E happens to read this, I hope you enjoy the video… great job on your tribute at the BET Awards. You put blood, sweat and tears into that performance. I can tell Prince was your heart and wish you the best in your projects. Hope to meet you in person one day!

See ya on Monday!

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Hi All,

And it’s Monday!

Watched the BET Awards last night and I must say, this was one of the best award shows I have seen in a long time.

However, I must confess, no words can express the mix of emotions I felt while watching in my living room. Talented people such as Jennifer Hudson and others honoring Prince with a tribute that would have no doubt brought tears to his eyes had he been in the audience. But what made watching the awards rather hard for me had to be the fact the very person being honored with a tribute is also the one whose blood runs through my veins. Prince was honored at the 2010 BET Awards and also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

But Sunday night’s program had its share of comedy, drama and highlighting what Blacks have achieved this year.

Jesse Williams’ speech was  truly inspiring. With the conflicts involving Black residents and law enforcement making headlines in recent years in addition to the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, Blacks are trying harder than ever to make changes for people of color.

As a Black person myself, I never thought I’d experience this level of adversity in my adult life.

Sadly, humanity has been divided by racial differences since ancient times. From powerful empires conquering other lands to modern day brutality and other hardships in school, the job site and daily life as a whole.

I have seen and experienced quite a few of the issues that effect people of color first hand.

But, enough of that for now.

Tracy Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson kept the night entertaining with several comedy sketches throughout the award show one of which included Anthony asking Tracy the question:

“Why are we dressed like the White people in Roots?”

The icing on the cake was the final performance by Sheila E featuring Jerome Benton from The Time and many of Prince’s former band members. Sheila E went to great lengths and poured her heart out on stage.

I found myself in tears by the end of her tribute. Prince was truly her heart and it’s certainly clear as day that Sheila E loves him.

She deserves some recognition for her hard work… Black Girls Rock Awards, anyone?

In all honesty, this year’s BET Awards was over the top!

While I have not been able to attend any of the Prince events that have been held in Los Angeles, New York City and Minneapolis, I hope something will come along in the future or that Paisley Park becomes a museum.

For anyone that was at the BET Awards or participated in the Prince tribute. Great job!

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks!

It’s Monday!

Summer has officially started.

On of the highlights for me will be watching the BET Awards on June 26th, Sunday night.

No words can describe how it feels that the person being honored with a tribute is part of your extended family.

I only wish that I could be there in person but I will be watching.

Tomorrow marks two months since my cousin has been gone. I miss him terribly and I know others do too.

I encourage those who had the opportunity to see him in person or met him to hold on to those memories. They are priceless!

I sadly didn’t get to meet my cousin but had at least four possible moments where he and I could have crossed paths but probably didn’t.

More on that later.

This journey has started, I will continue to post updates of how things work out.

Thanks for stopping by.

See you on Wednesday!

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Hi all,

I would like to share a wonderful discovery I have made…while Prince is still greatly missed, almost 2 months later…during that time I decided to learn more about him and in my search, I came across something that has since changed my life…Keep in mind, that for legal reasons I CANNOT answer questions or give out names other than what I’ve written below.

I will say that while reading what I have written in this blog post, I highly recommend whoever sees this, please be sitting down, don’t eat or drink anything…it’s that serious… Also prior to this I had seen the 2016 remake of Roots on the History channel which really brought the research I did to life…so here’s my story…

 “When the door closes, another one opens, I walk through it, with my head up…”

“Every ending, is just a new beginning…

– Lyrics from ‘New Beginnings ‘by Bear and a Banjo


On the morning of May 19th 2016 was when I started my research on the history of Prince’s family, the Nelsons. The main reason behind my search was curiosity. I had wanted answers as to why Prince and I had so many similarities including appearance such as hair, eye color and skin tone, just to name a few.

I learned the last name, Nelson had roots in England, Scotland and Ireland. The Nelson clan lived around the same time as the Clark and Carmichael* clans in the middle ages. The Clark and Nelson families lived 116 miles away from each other in England. I found out that the Nelson and Carmichaels traveled to Ireland at the same time during that period. Both of them hold the records for the oldest clans in Ireland.

*Carmichael is my grandmother’s maiden last name.

Searching even further, I learned the Nelsons, Clarks and Carmichaels also left the U.K. for America just two or three years apart from each other during the 17th century. More of them came to the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries.

After their initial arrival in Virginia and other states on the Eastern Seaboard; many members of all three families dispersed into the South, ending up in states such as The Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and eventually Louisiana.


I sorted through dozens of names, locations and dates on ancestry.com…
Much of these family lines consisted of a history of relatives who were slaves or children of slave masters. Because slaves were regularly bought, sold and traded, members of both the Nelson and Carmichael families were scattered. If a loved one died, they would remarry, their children who eventually grew up, also started families. It is well known in the history of slavery that there are numerous cases of female slaves being forced into relationships with their masters and male slaves who became involved with the wives of slave masters and plantation owners.

The next three generations of Nelsons and Carmichaels which followed during both the final years of slavery and the civil war; consisted of former slaves and free Blacks who married into each other’s families. There were also cases of Whites marrying former slaves and Blacks that were born free or became such later in life. The end result were many cousins and half siblings within the Nelson and Carmichael families.

After two days of research and sorting through dozens of names, locations and dates, on Saturday May 21st, was when I had a breakthrough. That morning, I was finally able to make a connection between Prince’s family and mine. One of his great uncles had married one of my older cousins, this would make Prince my 4th cousin!


Below are some questions, that I’m sure I would likely be asked about, so here they are:


What led you to research Prince’s genealogy?

Answer: It was all curiosity, I wanted to know why we had so much in common. I don’t associate myself with the 700 some people who claim to be related to Prince.  I have no ulterior motives at all. Their search is different than my own which was to find out the reason behind the series of similarities Prince and I share.


What was your reaction when you made your discovery?

Answer: When I made the connection, I was…quiet, sat at my laptop for a few minutes just staring in shock. I did get teary-eyed, followed by a chill down my spine. Of all the people to share the same genetics with, mine is shared with the very person who wrote a song about purple colored rain!


Why did you do this search now, and not sooner?


Answer: Different place, different time. My life was much different, I was dealing with moving, my old laptop breaking down and just daily life as a whole. Had I known about this sooner, I honestly would have done everything in my power to contact Prince. I doubt I’d even be writing this blog post this very minute if I had gotten in touch with him.


What do you plan to do now?

Answer: As of now, I contacted a Genealogy firm that is currently looking for Prince’s relatives. They are holding my information for the time being…According to one news report, the next court hearing will be June 27th the day after the BET awards. I will be keeping track of it to learn what the outcome will be. At this point, I don’t know where this will end up.


How do you feel about being related to Prince?

Answer: Even after almost a month since I found out, it still hasn’t quite sunk in. Aside from that, I have a newfound love for Prince, not as a fan but as a relative.

Knowing that we share the same genetic background is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Though I’m still adjusting to seeing and thinking of him as ‘Cousin Prince’.

I don’t know what direction my life will go at this point, but I do know a story as great as this one needs to be told.

I will miss him, even though we never met…he’s one of quite a few relatives I never knew but heard and read wonderful things about from those who knew him.  I’d like to think we would be close if we got to know each other, even if it was just talking on Twitter or possibly Facetime or Skype.

I can relate to him in so many ways, never in my life have I come across someone who reminded me so much of myself.  After making this discovery I realize the reason behind why he and I share so much in common, it’s genetic!  Just 3 generations and 27 years apart to be exact.


What things would you have liked to done with him if you had met?

Answer: Good question…off the top of my head, I would like to have spent time getting to know him…maybe go have lunch or dinner somewhere, see a movie, etc…basically the sort of things people do when they have family who visits from out of town. Would have been a memorial experience, I’m sure of it.


How has this discovery changed your life?

Answer: It’s definitely given me a confidence boost as a writer, artist and a person in general. Knowing that I have a relative who overcame so many obstacles and reached major milestones as a result. To know he was very much loved and respected by many is wonderful. He set a great example and I love him for that.

When I look at myself now, it’s different than before, I suppose a person would describe it as finding out you’re related to royalty in a way.

Like Prince’s father, my Dad is a musician as well(piano) and knew many people in the industry. I plan to document his history and get it published.


What made you come forward with your discovery?

Answer: It just felt like something I had to do, one of which is for legal reasons. I would feel guilty about withholding this from the firm who is actively looking for Prince’s relatives. I also believe those who knew him have a right to know about this as well.


What do you hope people will walk away with from reading this blog post?


Answer: I just hope others will see this search started out as a matter of curiosity not personal gain. I also look at this as when one door closes and another one opens. The door for Prince may have closed but I believe my being related to him will hopefully open the door for opportunities that will help me as both a writer and artist.

I don’t want people to mistake me as a person stuck in Prince’s shadow or trying to follow in his footsteps. I’m not musically talented in any way, other than putting together soundtracks or using music that best fits the story or scene I’m working on.

 I do however, hope to be recognized as having the same level of intelligence, moral code and creativity that my cousin before me was so well known for. He told his stories using music, I tell my own through writing.

If there’s anything I learned from this discovery is about who I am, where I come from and that my family is much larger than I originally thought.  I had always heard of the many success stories with other relatives in my family and Prince certainly earns a special place among them.

I will always remember my cousin for the creative, kindhearted and intelligent person that he was. I just hope others will do the same.


What do you hope to accomplish?


Answer:  As a writer and artist, I hope to get my work out there for others to see and enjoy. I do plan to write a biography piece explaining more about this journey of finding my roots.

I do expect others will be doubtful of my research but trust me, I have never once been dishonest about anything I’ve ever posted on this blog.

I believe Prince would be touched to know he has a cousin who is not only inspired by him but also thinks so much of him and loves him dearly.  Him being gone certainly hurts more than ever, now that I know he’s family.

If he was here, I believe he would offer encouragement and be a wonderful mentor.

In my mind, I believe he’d say: “You’re just like me.”

Having learned so much about him, in all honestly a lot of his personality and certain characteristics echo my own.  I get chills every time I find out something about him that reminds me of myself.

It shows how powerful genetics are and that it doesn’t matter how far apart a generation gap is. Certain characteristics and features can and do skip generations.

Being related to him, I’ll admit I truly feel special.

I’d like to think Prince would be impressed if not elated, by the time, effort and energy I’ve spent researching our family history and the amazing results that came out of it.

Anything negative that is said about him online, I do take it personally to a certain degree. Nobody likes to hear another person talk badly about someone in their family. Prince is no exception.

His reputation as a person who has done countless acts of kindness and overcame many obstacles, doesn’t deserve to be tarnished or dragged through the mud.

My heritage means a lot to me and to have a cousin like Prince is something that will always hold a special place in my heart.


Thanks for reading folks…


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See you on Monday!

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