Two years before the movie process, Marcello started writing the script and Richard Venture, a script writer from Hollywood, trained with me. Venture was the first to write this movie for me, he got busy and still gave me a good draft but not enough to make a movie. That is where Marcello came in. Marcello wrote many drafts but none could be used. He said, “Calasanz, the China Town script was redone more than 30 times and that was why it became the best.” He convinced me that nothing was wrong. Many obstacles happened even before starting the movie. For example, I got hurt; it was one of the biggest blows to my career because the injury did not have to happen. It could have been prevented by these people who convinced me that I was safe in the place they brought me to, but they could not help me escape from a demonstration with someone who almost cost me my life and my dream. I built my name by doing demonstrations for people. I never had to hurt anyone and no one hurt me. But on this day my skill was so beyond my opponent’s. I got pushed to stand up and do a demonstration with a chef who was a Thai boxer. I humiliated him so much that he could not take it. The people with me knew that I did not want to participate in any more demos, not until I finished my movie. I built my name by humiliating people, especially street fighters, without hurting them.
As I got to this restaurant, the only thing that I could think of was that I did not want to participate in any demos until after the movie. I already knew that many people were jealous of my skills plus, I had a popular show on Cablevision’s public access channel. The chef was following the Calasanz Show for a long time and recognized me and planned for a demo. His intentions were to humiliate me. In the end he was the one who became the victim of humility without me having to hurt him. The chef set his mind to wanting to hurt me no matter what. He was cooking for us and as I go to sit down, this guy, at close range, delivered a kick so hard to my ankle that I injured my tibia. I tried not to go to any bars or restaurants until the movie was complete and I did anyway. These people who convinced me to go had the also persuaded me to do this demo at the restaurant, all I was really there for was to convince someone to train at my school, but the people with me wanted to see me in action. I am sure they wanted me to prove myself, which was the last thing I needed, by this time I proved myself enough. Someday I will get into the rest of what went on that day at the restaurant.
This injury caused a delay in the making of the movie and lots of money but not compared to the money that Marcello cost me. The day we started filming the movie we did not follow a script, I took my story away from him and he came up with something that was done at the spot. The script was no more and it was mostly improvised. The movie was supposed to be a low budget film and already $350,000 was spent during the first two weeks. By the time the movie was finished over $1 million dollars had been spent and we owed money to everyone. I knew that I would pay up, but the toughest part to take was all the people that we let down, including grocery store owner Stew Leonard who helped us the most. But Coast Entertainment Corporation did not have to file bankruptcy. Everyone, one way or the other got paid. Some were compensated with a membership to my school, some of them received a membership and a cash settlement. Many of the investors came to me and asked why I did that, or that I should close the company. I did not close, but I paid everyone personally.
You should know that in order to pay everyone faster, I came with these ideas. Every time something has gone wrong, I have proved that I can come up with some sort of idea or advertisement in order to recover. I have never been wrong, but 95% of the time, those that I have dealt with let me down. It does not mean that those people did it purposely. Those that know me are aware of my strong personality and loud voice, sometimes I make people angry. Those two things have cost me a great deal. Today, I understand that I overwhelmed some of those that worked with me, including my students that I have always done business with since day one.
To be continued…
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851