11/10/2019-R.I.P. – My Dad (Robert W. Johnson)

-For years I absolutely dreaded this day, as well as two more (at least) like it to go. Of course, I know that, at some point, both my Mom and Dad-as well as my baby boy cat Scruffy-will pass but that always seemed to be off in the distance, that there would be enough time to do so many things…That is now but one of many beliefs that have been strained, if not shattered, with the passing of my Dad…

-I’m not going to mention much of his background here. Dad was pretty private and didn’t even want an obituary but I made that decision because it was for me. I didn’t want him to just fade away without something out there. The same is with my Mom (even more so) but I will also do the same when that time comes. I guess this means that “WAYNE-THE BOOK” (probably not the name) might actually happen… It would probably be a memoir-unless I somehow become famous enough and/or have a large enough audience willing to buy a WWJ biography…or maybe it will all just end up here on my personal site. I don’t know but I digress…

-As seen in his obituary, my Dad was a member of The United States Navy in the 1950s and served when the Korean War was happening. He was on several ships and was on a tour in the Far East when he met, and eventually married, my Mom-who is from Taiwan. It may seem alien today, but back then a marriage between a Caucasian and an Asian wasn’t looked upon too favorably by many. They loved each other so much though, and while my parents had it hard, they got through it all and eventually had me-although there were times when I almost didn’t make it. Several times…

-My Dad was an engineer after the Navy with General Electric. Sometime before he retired the branch here (Syracuse, NY) was taken over by Lockheed Martin. His job had him traveling to many places including The Marshall Islands, where we lived for a number of years. While I have some memories of times before Kwaj (the main island was called Kwajalein-basically a 3 by 5-mile island), my strongest earliest memories were from my time here. The Marshall Islands are 2,100 miles southeast of the Hawaiian Islands. One of my favorite childhood memories was getting hooked on Star Wars at this time. In order to go to The United States (as well as back to Kwaj), you had to stop at Hawaii (usually Oahu) and sometimes we’d stay for a week or two. There was a theater there that played Star Wars for years and every time we were on that island I’d beg my Dad to see it and he would do so every time-so I got to see the original Star Wars movie multiple times on the big screen.

-Eventually, we settled in Central New York. My Dad was a proud member of the NRA Golden Eagles and The American Legion-as well as several other organizations. He loved his country and was very patriotic but even more so, he loved me and Mom. His main priority-right to the end-was to protect us and make sure we were taken care of. Growing up, he never forced me to do things-letting me make my own choices (mostly ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and helping me to correct course (and sometimes totally overhaul things) when needed. He was always so supportive of me in what I wanted to do-even when, perhaps, at times when he shouldn’t have been…

-He was also a man of few words, for the most part. Anyone who knows me knows how driven I can be and how, at times, I can’t see the forest for the trees so to speak. Just ask my exes ๐Ÿ™‚ But I did begin to finally recognize this a couple of years ago and we talked more and more as time went on. In addition, we also watch movies together, whether at home or in the theater. The last movie we watched together was “Avengers Endgame.” I’m so glad for all of that-although, of course, I wish there was so much more…

-I won’t be saying so much here at this time but I will recall a few great memories. Dad loved to read and he has a book collection that makes mine look sparse. I was so glad I got him into reading books by David Baldacci. Great stuff and highly recommended. Another one was that my Dad was a big fan of Johnny Carson and many years ago I bought him, for Christmas, a multi DVD set of Johnny Carson shows. He would play that over and over. One that I specifically remember was an interview with a musician who sang his favorite song “I Remember You” by Slim Whitman. I actually brought a small boom box to his room and a CD of Slim’s that he’d just ordered. Ironically, it wasn’t until the last week when I realized the song before “I Remember You”, which was the second song, was a song called “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine” which hit me really hard. I searched YouTube for it, but they have an older version up that isn’t the same. Perhaps I’ll upload it myself one day and share it here in the future… You can check out the lyrics HERE. Below is that clip from the Johnny Carson Show, complete with Slim singing “I Remember You.”

-Dad was from the generation where you don’t go to the doctor unless you really have to-and maybe not even then. Even as far back as around June/July when he was starting to have issues (at least that I started noticing-maybe a little earlier than that), he still insisted that he be the one who drives me to the airport so I could get the rental car for filming on JOHNNY Z– even though it was obvious something was off. Dad is very strong so whatever was happening, he’d just grin and bear it; saying he’d be fine-and I’d believe him. Even when things got worse, he would say not to worry. I’ll never know if he knew how serious things were and didn’t want me and Mom to worry-especially my Mother. By the time I basically forced him to go to the emergency room via an ambulance (he chose St. Joesph’s), he looked a little defeated. Maybe he knew what was to come…

-Dad was at St. Joesph’s for a little over a month, with one overnight stay at a nursing home which was a disaster… Lots of ups and downs throughout all of this. I missed one day (I can’t even remember why) but otherwise I was there to visit him all the other days-many times twice per day. The majority of the people I encountered there were wonderful, caring people. Having said that, there were some people/events/situations that don’t still don’t sit well with me. There were even times when I felt like I was in a bad drama movie… I was able to talk to Dad a lot and consider each day that I could a blessing. I was able to say goodbye, that I loved him, say what he meant to me and more-all numerous times. All of which (as stated before) I consider a blessing cause some don’t get to do that… There was still so, so much more though… One of my core beliefs is “where there’s life, there’s hope.” With all that has happened during this time, this is now one of those beliefs that I mentioned earlier that is strained if not shattered. Everything has now changed. Everything…

-One of the reasons I wanted to be there so much and would’ve been there all day every day if I could was that if the worst happened, I’d be there and he wouldn’t pass alone. I didn’t believe it would happen (I still had faith-no matter what anyone said), but Dad always taught me to do my best in being prepared for the worst-and it came… On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 8:15 PM, my Dad passed away and I was there at his side, holding his hand and feeling totally crushed. The anguish inside…

-There’s a lyric line from the Butch Walker song “Father’s Day” that’s been running in my head for weeks…

“You don’t become a man, until you lose your Dad…”

-I guess it’s time for me to (finally) grow up now…You’ve done so much for me and Mom… Goodbye, my Silver-Haired Daddy…You are forever with us in our hearts and I now hope there is an afterlife so that we can all meet once again. I love you & miss you so much Dad. So very, very much…

RWJ OBITUARY-THE POST STANDARD

RWJ OBITUARY-THE GRAND HAVEN TRIBUNE

As per his obituaries, if you’d like, in lieu of flowers please make a donation in his name to The US Navy Memorial…

THE UNITED STATES NAVY MEMORIAL

Posted in R.I.P. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

10/31/2019-ACTING-“Tales of Dracula” on What’s Goin’ On Binghamton 2019 Halloween Special

Tonight on WHAT’S GOIN ON BINGHAMTON-via THE HORROR OF IT ALL– for their 2019 Halloween Special, will be the full showing of the film TALES OF DRACULA by WOLFBAIN PRODUCTIONS. Afterward will be BTS interviews with director Joe DeMuro, actor Tom Delillo (The Wolf Man), Makeup Artist Ron Chamberlain and Actor Wayne W. Johnson (Dracula).

Posted in ACTING, FILMS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10/13/2019-INTERVIEWS- The Sacrificial Terror Podcast on “House Shark”

-Back on September 8, 2019, Director Ron Bonk and I (Wayne W Johnson) did an interview with the SACRIFICIAL TERROR PODCAST w/ Sam Iam Mason, Rheanon Nicole (Zombie Barbie) and Lance Wagner) pertaining to the horror/comedy film HOUSE SHARK. Lots of behind the scenes info about the film including talks about actors Trey Harrison, Michael Merchant & Wes Reid (Jonathan Straiton) and that Non-Native guy who played Darth Squanto ๐Ÿ™‚ In addition, films NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE and JOHNNY Z were also touched upon plus how I broke the House Shark (!) as well as why makeup artists, as soon as they find out I’m involved in a film, double their rates (HA!) ๐Ÿ˜€ Big thanks to Sam/Rheanon/Lance for the opportunity to do this-I had a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Check it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10/2/2019-INTERVIEWS- WWJ Chillin’ With The Rick in Oneida, NY

-Last night I did a lengthy interview (episode #20) with Rick Smith for his show CHILLIN WITH THE RICK and before I got home it was already up on Facebook ๐Ÿ™‚ Coming to YouTube as well…A number of topics including my early years, acting, music, CAROLINE BLUE and much more plus A LOT of cheesy jokes (Hey-it’s me! :)). There’s even a post there explaining why I have all those different FB pages ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again Rick – he’s already telling me what he wants to happen in a second interview ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in ACTING, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

9/30/2019-HEALTH-Update on Biopsy: It’s Not Cancer But…

-For those who may or may not know, On Tuesday, August 27, I had a biopsy to determine if what was detected via chest x-ray and two cat scans- which was enlargement of multiple lymph nodes-was the worst-case scenario; this being having lymphoma-a slow type of cancer. It was also the same night KISS was playing in Syracuse and-for those who don’t know-yes, I did make it to the concert and had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚ When I got out of the biopsy, I had the scar as well as a large swelling around it. The swelling is almost gone now. I was also concerned that, since two tubes were down my throat at the same time (one was the breathing tube and the other with a camera so the doctor could look at both the inside and outside of my lungs), that there was a possibility of damage to my vocal cords. I’m happy to report that I have the high and mid ranges back (I never lost (fully or partially) my low range). Staying power isn’t what it was but I can recover some of that (maybe more) with vocal exercise-which I’m back to doing (and was doing for over a decade now). The good news is that I don’t have cancer, but…

-The doctor did tell me that I do have something-and that is called Sarcoidosis. Now, I’m by no means an expert of this but I will try to explain a few things from my research. Please feel free to correct/add to the info if you’d like… Of course, the first search I had to hit a site where they were talking about what happens if it’s chronic and, if really bad, one can have a life expectancy of maybe ten years tops. Great huh? I don’t even know if that’s really accurate but that didn’t set the tone very well obviously. I kept on pushing on though…

-Sarcoidosis is, well, taken from WebMD.com…

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body, but mostly the lungs and lymph glands. In people with sarcoidosis, abnormal masses or nodules (called granulomas) consisting of inflamed tissues form in certain organs of the body.

-It would seem that mine is located, at this time, in the lungs and lymph nodes. A friend of mine also had it in the kidneys and they were only working around 40%. Other places can be the eyes, skin, joints and basically every organ you have. With the lungs, the granulomas, if they become fully formed, can cause scarring-which is when the damage really gets bad there. There are also other multiple symptoms-some common for all and some linked to where it’s located. Obviously, I have some of them and they are the following…

-The first symptom I have is fatigue. This is an autoimmune disease. That means my immune system is trying to fight this and it’s not working-yet keeps trying anyway. As a result, I tend to get tired and worn out faster. So it’s not all just aging (HA!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of those pics of me sleeping on the JOHNNY Z set and a few others…perhaps it was tied into this (although there were also other things that were probably involved-heat wave, lack of sleep and more). This is currently my number one challenge with all this cause I’m getting hit by so many things at this time that I’m really getting worn down at times…

-The second symptom I have is shortness of breath (at times)-which ties in with the lungs. It’s much better than how I was last year-especially during various fight scenes so this isn’t too bad, but it did get to me once while outside on the set of “Babysitter Massacre: Heavy Metal” earlier this year. It sucks but I just have to pace myself better and am working on it. I also have to again say it’s WAY better than it was last year.

-A third symptom is a persistent dry cough. Like the shortness of breath, it’s nowhere near as bad as it was last year. Hell, at times, I had a few people say all the coughing last year sounded like I had walking pneumonia (!). While I still have this almost daily, it happens about one time per day-on average-and ends real quick. Last year I was even having trouble sleeping due to all the coughing. It doesn’t do that anymore so that’s one less reason out of the mix…

-A fourth symptom is brain fog. Specifically-being harder to focus and have mental clarity. Usually comes along with the fatigue-and sometimes may just be a product of said fatigue. When they both hit, I really can’t do too much but chill and/or try to catch up on sleep. While I can power out of it at times, it gets a little harder to do as I get older…

-A fifth interesting symptom that I was told about (and confirmed by my friend who has it) is that it can amplify feelings of anxiety (which I really don’t have so not really bad) and depression (THAT’s the bad one). So for those who read my 2018 YEAR IN REVIEW…was parts of that being amplified by this? I’ll never really know…

-I really haven’t experienced any others as of yet per se and hopefully won’t. A few friends have messaged me telling me of their experiences with Sarcoidosis. I was told that there are many cases where it went into remission after awhile-maybe a year or more-and stayed that way. Having said that, there’s no cure for this and no type of on-going treatment. If it gets bad what is usually given is a type of steroid (just what I needed…to get bigger right? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) but that’s a temporary thing. I have an appointment with a pulmonary specialist in the coming months so time will tell. Hopefully, I’ll be one of the lucky ones where it decreases, not increases…

-One other interesting thing is that there’s no known cause for Sarcoidosis. They don’t really know how it happens. It was first detected when I had my chest x-ray but if I didn’t have that…I’ll never know how I got it or, even more importantly, how long I’ve had it. I know I was having shortness of breath problems during a fight scene on a beach for a movie (that will basically, IMO, never see the light of day due to the unreal amount of BS surrounding it) back in 2015. Was Sarcoidosis a factor in that or was it just me not being in P90X shape anymore (which totally sucks and needs to be worked on…)? I’ll never know that either…

-FYI…if you don’t see me posting as much and/or not responding as much, I’ve become the caretaker for my parents this year so that takes priority over all else. Thank you for your understanding…

Posted in HEALTH | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

9/19/2019-ACTING- Recap from Pirate Weekend at Exit 33/Turning Stone

-9/13-14/2019 – Months earlier I was once again asked by THE PIRATE QUEEN QUIGLY (Lynzie Quinn) to accompany her during Pirate Weekend at Exit 33 in Turning Stone Casio; reprising my role as “Johnny Red.” Initially, due to scheduling on my part, I didn’t know if I could do it this year but I was glad to see that things cleared out for those days and I was able to make it. It’s always an interesting acting gig cause it almost entirely relies on improvisation. While I have a few stock replies, one is almost reliant on what someone says to you depending on what they say is how you reply. So basically, you have to come up with the reply on the fly. Obviously, there’s a good chance of crashing and burning, but it’s like any skill or muscle per se – the more you use it, the better you get. Yes, there’s exceptions-hence why I said “per se” but I digress…

-The first night was a little slow in regards to turn out and time passing. I had enough trouble with the chest holster for my blunderbuss (on loan by the Queen) so this year I just stuck it down the front of my pants. That did open up an opportunity for me to talk about my “wood” when people tried to grab it ๐Ÿ™‚ For those who don’t know, “Johnny Red”-as per the color in his name- is a tad on the “flaming” side so to speak. ๐Ÿ˜€ It makes for an interesting performance. I did get my butt grabbed a number of times this first night-and here I forgot to bring my butt pads ๐Ÿ™‚ The crew was a little short-handed tonight-only four of us this first night (The Queen, Little Jack/Stilty (Craig Loomis), Captain Barbossa (Jim Hanselman). There was also some trouble. One guy decided he could get a little handy with The Queen’s Front and, since he wouldn’t let go-she bit him ๐Ÿ˜€ This caused him to become delirious in lust and, not too long afterward, was seen being “escorted” towards the back by security personnel. There was also a guy who was yelling at someone outside The Tin Rooster (AKA “The Big Cock” in Johnny Red’s world ๐Ÿ˜€ ). and was eventually told by security to go home. He would about ten feet back, turn around and just wait. This happened two more times. Not sure what happened to him by night’s end…

-I did have one guy not too happy with me, I guess. A lady wanted me to pose with this guy (her boyfriend?) next to the skull display and he kind of freaked out, power walking away from me while saying stuff like” No F*ckin’ way am I getting a pic with him!” and stuff-even while she kept laughing and insisting that he stay for the pic. I guess I shouldn’t have asked him if he wanted to hold onto my wood for the pic ๐Ÿ˜€

-The next night-man did time fly by. The place was packed! Not only was there more pirates (CAPTAIN JACK FOR HIRE CNY (Rick Martinez) here, but also a number of people who came dressed in pirate gear). In addition, there were two lovely pirate lasses who were handing out beads by the boxload as well as three lovely showgirls who were all from the tri-state area. The line to The Tin Rooster was quite long. Nothing bad/dramatic happened, but wow did time go by fast. I had some lovely encounters with various people-including this wonderful couple who had met in Germany (I believe) and told me she was Mormon-which lead to an interesting discussion on how Mormons are portrayed on Porn Hub (not that I would know from personal experience of course) ๐Ÿ™‚

-I had a great time but man did the time fly by…Thanks to The Queen for having me involved and hopefully I’ll be invited to future events (with advanced notice of course-it takes me a while to even grow what facial hair I actually had those nights…).

Pics from both nights can be seen on my Acting page on Facebook
WWJ ACTING PAGE on FACEBOOK

Posted in ACTING, THEATER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

8/28/2019-HEALTH-Aftermath From Biopsy – My First Experience with Surgery & Anesthesia

-While I’ve been doing some hints here and there at times via social media (read: vague-posting (HA!), yesterday was a post on my personal page on Facebook about me going into minor surgery (AKA biopsy) in the early morning. Obviously, this had been in the works for a while now. Some background info on this…

-Last year, while filming down in Virginia for JOHNNY Z in an abandoned house, I started having this dry cough. It progressed to the point to where, as I was being driven to the bus station on my last day there, I couldn’t stop coughing. Now, I’m not saying the house or that production is to blame. Other possibilities could be my diet at the time and overall failing health-due to some bad decisions made in late 2018, my life overall was deteriorating rapidly (click HERE for my 2018 Year in Review for some details) which including eating a lot of junk food regularly-to the point where, on set, I was the heaviest I’d ever been. The storm of depression was at hurricane levels at this point as well. It also could be some kind of virus. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t really know how this came about-only that it has happened and I have to deal with it.

-The thing is, for most of 2018 I was unemployed hence I had no health insurance. Considering how much things are costing me now (and that’s WITH health insurance), I can only imagine how much higher my bills would be. But once I did get health insurance and got past the grace period, I began to look into seeing what was going on. While the coughing had decreased, it was still happening every day. On top of that, there’s like this pressure around my throat, as well as phlegm build-up, which makes it sometimes hard to speak/sing. Considering that I still have music I want to release for CAROLINE BLUE (even though I’m working at a snail’s pace on all things CB-I’m still working on it) I wanted to find out what was going on and if I could get rid of this thing.

-So earlier this year I finally went to see a doctor about it. Things started with a chest X-ray but rapidly progressed to two cat scans. Not a good sign. One was centered around my throat/chest region, the other centered around my abdomen/pelvis area. Then I got the results: I had multiple enlarged lymph nodes. This could be from three things: infection, inflammation or, worse case, lymphoma-a slow type of cancer. Considering how health-conscious I am (with the exception of junk food in the last few years), that took me by surprise. Cancer. Me possibly having that. It’s amazing what goes thru the mind when you receive news of that possibility.

-The doctors wanted to schedule me for a biopsy ASAP but I had to delay it due to filming on two productions where I had speaking roles- “Johnny Z” and TALES OF DRACULA: DRACULA MEETS THE WOLFMAN; especially the latter one where I had some big monologues to do. I’ve admitedly become a little paranoid as I’ve gotten older and tend to have this morbid mindset whenever something like this comes up-or even when, for example, I ever have to travel out of state for acting or whatnot. It’s to the point where I almost expect this to happen in order to be safe-if that makes any sense. I had two main concerns in regards to the biopsy-one which is resolved and the other-time will tell.

-The first was being put under via anesthesia. I’ve never had that happen to me before so there was that unknown factor to deal with. What if I’m one of those rare ones who don’t wake up? In addition, contrary to instruction, for some reason, I drank some water twice in the time period when I wasn’t supposed to before surgery. No food or drink at all for basically eight hours before the surgery. I thought the water was OK but it wasn’t. For those of you who may be wondering, here’s why. When you sleep, your muscles can still move involuntarily at times. When you’re under anesthesia, you are totally paralyzed. So one, there is a possibility of blood clots forming and two, if you ate or drank something, it just sits in your stomach. With the tubes down your throat, this can cause what is known as “aspiration pneumonia” which means your body starts to induce vomiting-which causes any food and/or drink you have to end up in your lungs. Not good. Luckily it was just water and not, for example, coffee with cream. The cream alone would cause a delay of six hours (!) for the surgery. Obviously, since I’m typing this on the day after, any worries about waking up are now behind me.

-The second concern is still ongoing. While under anesthesia, there’s a breathing tube put down my throat. You can see from the pic where the incision was made for the biopsy so I got a souvenir from the show (HA!). In addition to that, the doctor also wanted to insert a tube with a camera on it to get a detailed look of the inside and outside of my lungs. As you can surmise, this would be a tight squeeze down my air pipe and. more specifically, my vocal cords. There is the possibility of them being damaged. Right after the biopsy, most of my neck was numb and, at the KISS concert later that night-walking towards The Amp-I coughed and spit out a thick chunk of bloody phlegm. Nice huh? As of today, the numbing has gone down to just right in the throat area. My diet is basically ice cream and other soft foods (a Big Mac is considered a soft food right?-HA!)-which has increased the pounds on me but here’s a surprise-at this moment, I’m sick of ice cream. Who the hell gets sick of ice cream? Maybe the anesthesia caused some brain damage? ๐Ÿ™‚

-The only other thing that happened was my right calf was really in pain-to where I still have a slight limp walking as of today. Seems like I had a major leg cramp but, because I was asleep and paralyzed, I never knew about it till I woke up-and it tied for the soreness in my throat area so that was an experience.

-Now I just have to wait for the results. I was told that the doctor told my close friend Sarah R. (both her and her boyfriend Aaron drove me to St. Joseph’s. There was the real possibility that I might have had to drive myself to this but they knocked some sense into me ๐Ÿ™‚ ) that, while he wants to wait for the results, chances are very good that I don’t have cancer and what I do have can be treated. So if I can just get past paying off the medical bills-and if all goes well with my vocal cords (currently all of my high range and a good chunk of my mid-range are gone-and don’t worry, I won’t even attempt any singing till I totally recover)-I’ll be back to being all peachy keen-at least on this front.

-I just want to give a very deep thanks to all the people who responded to that Facebook post yesterday with well-wishes-as well as any in advance after I post this. It makes me feel like this moment from “The Jerk” with Steve Martin – albeit hopefully not after the 0:53 moment (HA!).

Posted in HEALTH | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment