12/31/2016-UPDATES-2016 Year in Review

-Another year has come and gone. I feel like, as I get older, time seems to be moving faster and faster. For many, it seemed like 2016 couldn’t end fast enough. IMO, every year has people who do well and people who don’t. 2016 wasn’t one of my best years. In many ways, it seemed like a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of year. While I did advance in some areas, I definitely had my share of setbacks.

-For many, 2016 was a year that saw a huge amount of celebrity deaths. While this happens every year, the high number of them in 2016 seemed to really hit home with a lot of people-myself included. To me, it’s a constant reminder that we all have a limited time here and to make the most of it while we can. Having said that, it seems that, in the later half of 2016, the fuel for my drive in many areas has temporarily run dry and, at times, all I want to do is just sleep and move on to the next day. I know-not good, but it happens and, to me things go in cycles. I’m confident that I will be back “in gear” in 2017. The two celebrity deaths that hit me the hardest were Prince and Carrie Fisher (along with her mother Debbie Reynolds dying one day after her daughter-which just added to the sadness of it all). Both were total shocks to me. Because of previous / current time constraints, I haven’t made a post about either of these event (nor about the death of Robin Williams-which happened years ago). While I don’t write about every celebrity death, I have, in the past, written about ones who have been part of my growing up. I guess I’ll have to do “retro posts” on them at some point. Hey-it’s my site right? πŸ™‚

-Before I go on, I know there are some people who feel like mourning celebrities is a “waste of time” per se when there are so many others who pass and get no “celebrations” at all. I see this especially from those who say why mourn celebs when we have soldiers dying everyday-or the poor-or pets, etc. All I can say to that is, why does your mourning have to be exclusive? Why isn’t there room for both? Mourning, to me, is a personal thing. Mourn for who you wish to-don’t worry how others do it. And with that, here’s a video from Facebook showing the long list of celebrity deaths from 2016.

*NOTE*–2016 “claimed” one more- William Christopher, who played Father Mulcahy on “M.A.S.H.” passed on a few hours before New Years Eve.

-While I know so many people are thinking that 2016 sucks due to this number and couldn’t wait for it to be over, to me, this number will continue-and may even rise, in the coming years. Just as more and more people came into the public eye the last number of decades, more and more of those people will start to pass on. As I said, a constant reminder to make the most of each day that you have.

-One of the great things, for me, in 2016 is that I still have both my parents with me as well as my little (well, not so little-HA!) baby boy Scruffy (my cat) with me. I am so grateful and blessed for this and working on spending even more time with them all. However, 2016 saw the loss of a number of people from within my “inner circle” for various reasons. This has definitely affected me and there are changes that are starting to come into place due to this. There’s a lot of inner reflection I feel I must do, as well as letting go of so many things that no longer work for me. A quote that Bruce Lee said, β€œIt’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” is something I will be keeping in mind in 2017. I kind of pride myself as being a person that is a “I know him, but I don’t know him” type. While many aspects of my life are public, many are private. As such, I’m not saying too much about this (besides, if I said it all now, I’d have nothing for “WAYNE-THE BOOK” (HA!) ). πŸ™‚ Time will tell…

-On the music front, not too much happened. I did try to get a music video shoot done for CAROLINE BLUE, but that fell thru. I plan on doing some in 2017-maybe even some shows πŸ™‚ In addition, there were a number of setbacks on the CB main website so, as you already know, that’s still not up either. It seems like it’s taking forever to do, and when I said previously about one step forward, two steps back-it was more like several steps back in this case. Ditto in regards to recording. However, when things go wrong, you change your approach, not the plan itself. Looking forward to new music, shows, videos and the website (finally) to be out sometime in 2017.

-Related to CAROLINE BLUE news, 2016 saw the passing of former CAROLINE BLUE drummer Kenny “Thunder” Simpson in October. He only performed one show with CB, but was in the music video “Mine, Mine, Mine” which got a lot of viewing. Kenny was always very proud of that video-always telling me how we became “rock stars” with it. I know Kenny had many demons he battled through out his life and I can only hope that he is now at peace.

-Related to music, I did get to see KISS at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY in August. I had a fun time and look forward to seeing them again-hopefully closer this time πŸ™‚ Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to afford to go on a KISS cruise πŸ™‚ Here’s a clip from the show that I found on You Tube.

-With acting, I slowed down a little more this year than last-although I got a nice boost from what did happen this year. This one I’ll have to break down into sections.

-Right away at the start of January, Episode 2 from STAR TREK ABSOLUTION, “The Galaxy Just Got Smaller-Part 2” was released. This is an animated series and I do the voice over for for the role of Lt. Kal-Del / Al-Kel. It’s fun and something different that what I normally do. Around September I submitted my voice files for Episode 3, tentatively titled “Any Port in a Storm,” which is currently unreleased. Note-due to the release of fan film guidelines from CBS, Star Trek Absolution is now known as STARSHIP SWIFTWIND. You can watch Episode 2 via below.

-Also in January, the episode “The Holiest Thing” was released by Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II. I reprised my role as Ensign Walking Bear in this one. While I posted the episode on my site earlier, the one below is the director’s cut of the same episode, which saw me getting a little more screen time. I still have one episode “in the can” so to speak (“Bread and Savagery”), but don’t know if it will ever be released due to STNV closing shop and transforming into a CBS licensed set tour business. For more information on this, go to STAR TREK ORIGINAL SERIES SET TOUR. On a side note, CNN also ran a story on Star Trek New Voyages and I’m briefly seen at the :46 mark πŸ™‚

-The initial fund raising campaign for TALES OF DRACULA 2: DRACULA MEETS THE WOLFMAN came and went. It was unsuccessful, unfortunately. The team at WOLFBAIN PRODUCTIONS regrouped and plan on launching a new one sometime in 2017. I have been recruited to help along with this. I’ve helped out, so far, by putting Tales on TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTERST as well as re-doing both their FACEBOOK page and MAIN WEBSITE (Wolfbain Productions). I’ve received a copy of the script and it looks like I will be in a lot more of the second one, so I’m really looking forward to it. A few more favorable reviews for Tales 1 also appeared online-some of which can be checked out HERE. The production team is starting to ask for donations before the official Kickstarter is launched for this (see below). 2017 looks to be quite a busy year for Tales of Dracula.

-In March, I did a video interview with Ben Reilley and Jason Emerson for LIFE OF REILLEY DISTILLERY AND WINE COMPANY‘s ” A Week in the Life” series (Episode 11). Originally it was to be a co-interview with Matthew A. Peters from MAD ANGEL FILMS, but Matt couldn’t make it so I did it solo. A lot of interesting stuff was brought up and we all got a good look at how I stayed on-topic through out the interview (NOT-HA!). πŸ™‚ It was a lot of fun though and check to see if I really am drinking alcohol or if it’s just “ginger ale (with a kick)” below. πŸ™‚

-I also did some short films at some college campus’ this year in March and April. One was “New Riots,” (Argonauts Pictures) which was done at SUNY Oswego, “Buried,” which was done around Syracuse University and “Drive” which was done at SUNY Oneonta in September. “Buried” is currently unreleased and I just had a small, normal role-kind of nice change of pace from playing monsters / villains. With “Drive” I played a police officer. This short film is pure dialogue-no fights or anything, so that was also a nice change of pace for me. It too has yet to be released. In “New Riots” I actually played a very stoned pop-punk guitarist in a band. I have this “classical stoner” voice I do that always seems to get a great reaction. I have some ideas to do something with it at some point. Originally I used it in the film “Slow Food.” However, since that was done in 2011 and is still unreleased…In contrast, “New Riots” was released shortly after filming and can be seen below.

-April saw the release of BRIARWOOD (Crow Farm Films) online. It was also shown at THE SYRACUSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL in May. I play the role of Hunter-a geek / killer in this one.

Briarwood from Ryan Farmer on Vimeo.

-May saw me taking part in a cast read for “Radiant Dark” by MAD ANGEL FILMS as well as the launch of it’s Kickstarter. Filming was to have started this year, but with the failure of the Kickstarter campaign, it has been postponed for sometime in 2017. Below is a clip from the cast read. I play the role of Zelgious, The Black Knight in this…and perhaps one other role…Below that is a blooper reel as an example of what can happen on a MAF film set πŸ™‚

-In July, totally by chance, I was able to land a small role in a major production called MOHAWK (Snowfort Pictures & Dark Sky Films). They were the same creative team that produced 2015’s horror hit “We Are Still Here.” This film stars Kaniehtiio Horn (Hemlock Grove), WWE wrestler Jon Huber, Justin Rain (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Noah Segan (Starry Eyes) Ian Colletti (β€œArseface” from AMC’s new show Preacher), Robert Longstreet (Take Shelter), Sheri Foster (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and -and I was in a scene that had basically all of them in it. I was only there for two days and had no lines, but my role was an important one in the scene-he’s the one that starts off all the action. It was great being on a set like this again and had a great time-although I got sick right after cause I stood out in the cold for several hours with no blanket like an idiot. Hopefully this, as well as AMERICAN DRESSER (filmed in 2015-which was also a major film I got a role in) will both be released in 2017. Also-here’s a link to their press release for “Mohawk” on Entertainment Weekly.


-BTW-if some of these recaps seem a little short, please feel free to go back and read about them in detail during my posts in 2016. Warning-some of them can be quite wordy (like this whole thing isn’t?) πŸ™‚

-Also in July I did another interview-this time a longer one for a podcast called THE NECROCASTICON. I got grilled on all sorts of stuff and, as usual, I was a little too long winded πŸ™‚ I had a lot of fun though and thanks to all the guys for making me feel at ease. Special kudos go out to Azriel Mordecai, who hepled to arrange this interview. You can listen to it via the link below.


-In August, a video interview I did for Facebook only finally became available everywhere else. This was done a few years ago right at the ned of my filming on TALES OF DRACULA. It’s a short clip, but it was fun to do. The pics chosen for the thumbnail for this-it’s almost like two different people to me πŸ™‚

-August also saw me playing the role of “Darth Squanto” in Ron Bonk’s new film HOUSE SHARK. This was a fun role and I got to add a number of things to my character-which is always a plus. Being in an all black outfit in the middle of summer makes for some interesting acting πŸ™‚ This film saw me being reunited with a number of NoSS alumni and was a lot of fun to make. There’s a good vibe with this one and it’s slated to be released in 2017.

-In addition, I also was part of my very first short, silent, black and white film called “Bataille de Sang” (The Horror of it All Productions) in August. I reprised my role as Count Dracula in this-yet played him very different than how I did in Tales of Dracula. That was part of the challenge and fun in doing this role. I’d never done anything like a silent film before, so that was great to research and add to my repertoire. The whole film was released online on Halloween and can be seen below as part of the 2016 THOIA Halloween Special.

-In September I did a long interview for Matthew A. Peters in conjunction to the re-launch of the new MAD ANGEL FILMS website. I came up with the idea to make it a little “different” than others and made a little compilation clip from all the MAF films I’ve done (save 2)-including unreleased stuff like “The Crimson Moon” and “Romeo 3000” as well as an exclusive clip from “Empire State of the Dead.” I made the clip myself and was my first attempt at actual video editing. I like it πŸ™‚ I had a lot of fun in doing this-even with stuff like choosing the music for it. Check it out below. I plan on making more clips and videos and such in 2017 and beyond πŸ™‚

-November saw the release of Slade Collins In & Out of Time (aka Slade 2) by MAD ANGEL FILMS. It was good to finally see this one released. It was, after all, filmed back in 2014. They are currently having a limited edition blu-ray release on the MAF website if you wish to buy. Also available are DVD versions of the film. I played the comic relief role of Captain James T. Morris in this one-a 1940’s World War II Army Captain who never got the memo on the ways of the modern woman-complete with 1940’s stache πŸ™‚ Check out the trailer for this below.

-Post Production for ROMEO 3000 (MAD ANGEL FILMS / WWJ PRODUCTIONS) is still chugging along. The first rough edit found the film at almost three hours in length (!). Obviously this will be edited down for the DVD / theatrical release version, but might make it, in large part, to the blu-ray version. I play the role of Tybalt in this, as well being one of the co-producers and co-writers of this. Hopefully, this will be out sometime in 2017.

-The biggest thing that happened to me in 2016 in regards to acting was when NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE was finally released to various festivals domestic and international. The response NoSS has been receiving is overwhelmingly positive-although I have seen some negative ones. I started a list of them on 5/1/16 and they can be seen HERE. NoSS seems to be one of those films that you either love cause it’s so gory and over the top-or hate cause of the same (or don’t think the comedy is funny). To date, NoSS has won 13 awards-not bad for a film where production started back in 2011. For awhile, it seemed like a day didn’t go by without some new review or news about NoSS. The fact that I have over twice as many postings in 2016 than in 2015 bears this out. NoSS has definitely helped pushed me up the acting ladder-my IMDb ranking hit it’s all time high (to date) of 14,843 (it’s usually between 53,000-150,000-yeah, I have no idea how these rankings happen so…). A new interview with Director Jonathan Straiton appeared in SCREAM THE HORROR MAGAZINE in December that has my face in it. I play the lead zombie Cornelius in NoSS. I’m so glad I was not only able to see this a couple of times, but that it’s now released on Digital HD format. Orders for blu-rays are now available and are anticipated to be coming out between January-March. Click HERE to check out the NoSS Store. Below is the trailer for NoSS as well as a hilarious review of NoSS by CML Entertainment πŸ™‚

-In addition, I also attended SCARE-A-CON in September in Syracuse, where NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE, SHE KILLS and “Empire State of the Dead” were playing. Having experienced that, I need to get out to more cons when movies I’m in are showing there. No joke-I had a great time this. I was even on one of the Actor’s panels that they had going. Overall it was quite the experience and it made me wish even more that I was able to go to all the ones that NoSS was at-including the ones in England and Spain.

-2016 saw the release of several projects I was in on various formats-including NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE, SHE KILLS, “Empire State of the Dead,” “Brackish,” “Slade Collins and The Tree of Life,” THE CHALLENGER, “Half Dead” and “Locked In.” Links to those-and many more-can be found on the STORE page. Still MIA are THE DOLLMAKER, Transformation, SLOW FOOD, King of The Neighborhood, To Have and To Hold, The Crimson Moon, F.I.T. to Survive, Losing Grace, Landing music video, Bread & Savagery (STNV), Zillafoot and American Dresser-as well as projects done this year (Drive, Buried, Ep. 3 of STARSHIP SWIFTWIND, HOUSE SHARK and Mohawk)

-On deck for 2017-at the moment, it seems more towards repairing the good ship CAROLINE BLUE at this time. I do have a few acting gigs lined up-Tales of Dracula 2 and Radiant Dark are the set ones. I’m also in talks with a few potential ones. Hopefully, I’ll be able to land on another major film in 2017-maybe with some lines this time πŸ™‚ Course, I might have to go SAG in order for that to happen…

-To wrap things up, 2016 was a mixed bag for me. While I reached some new highs with acting, I was pretty stagnant in regards to music, writing and CAROLINE BLUE and took some good hits in my personal life. In some ways, that was good cause it opened my eyes to a few things. I do feel like I’ve reached one of those “turning points” that we all go thru at various times in our lives. Time will tell if I’m able to build upon this, or be broken by it. As I said last year, I want to take this time to wish everyone a happy 2017 and a very sincere thank you to all those who support me in my creative endeavors. It’s deeply appreciated. Onward and upward! πŸ™‚

About Wayne W. Johnson

Hiya-this is Wayne W. Johnson (WWJ) & thanks for dropping by to my site! I hope you enjoy your visit to my home away from home online. If you have any questions, comments and /or concerns about this site, please let me know via the CONTACT page. Thanks & best wishes to you & yours!
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1 Response to 12/31/2016-UPDATES-2016 Year in Review

  1. Pingback: 12/31/2019-UPDATES-2019 Year in Review | WAYNE W. JOHNSON

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