“…an incredibly literate personal tale that transcends Latin American culture, gang lifestyle, and incarceration. It’s a story of purpose and triumph, and it’s truly remarkable.” —Nick Cassavetes, filmmaker and actor (The Notebook, Alpha Dog, My Sister’s Keeper)
The memoir, Smile Now, Cry Later: Guns, Gangs and Tattoos — My Life in Black and Gray will be released in hardcover by Seven Stories Press, New York on August 30th.
Authors: Freddy Negrete and Steve Jones
Distribution: Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Foreword: Luis J. Rodriguez — Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, best-selling author of Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural and the Chicago-based Youth Struggling for Survival non-profit organizations.
Profiled in the History Channel’s Marked series, East L.A. gang member Freddy Negrete became an orphan-of-the-living at two and a half years old when his parents, both pachuco gangsters, ended up in prison, one for armed robbery and the other for manslaughter.
After growing up in foster care, Freddy joined a San Gabriel gang, Sangra, one of the oldest gangs in Los Angeles, and ended up in a number of juvenile halls and camps, the LA County Jail and eventually Youth Authority prison at the age of eighteen.
A gifted and natural-born artist, Freddy was transported from the confines of prison cells–where, using home-made tattoo machines, he honed his craft as a pioneer of Black and Gray realism–onto the sets of major Hollywood films such as Batman, Blade, Con Air, Austin Powers and Falling Down. But then, after years of success in the motion picture industry, in a tragic twist of fate, he found himself back inside again: in Folsom maximum security prison–tattooing for packets of soup.
Smile Now, Cry Later is a spiritual journey of survival and transformation, a moving and inspiring redemption narrative of a Jewish-Chicano artist who overcame death in the form of shootings, stabbings and multiple heart attacks; the scourges of heroin and Oxycontin addiction; and the loss that is every parent’s nightmare: the tragic death of his 16 year old son, Lorenzo, in a gang-related shooting incident.
“Freddy Negrete’s story is about how even the most troubled young man has vital gifts for the world, intrinsic to who he’s meant to be, and filling a void only an artist can fill.” —Luis J. Rodriguez, Los Angeles Poet Laureate and best-selling author of the memoirs Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A., and It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing.
‘Hero & Zero’ which was staged at the Drachengasse Theatre, Vienna in 2008 was awarded a grant by the Lithuanian Council for Culture’s Stage and Art program and will premiere at the Alytus City Theatre in September, 2015.
Director: Petras Lisauskas
Cast: Rasa Grigutytė, Ona Gudaitytė, Tomas Kunčinas, Vidas Vaškius
Steve Jones (writer/producer) and Eric Loren (director/producer) are teaming up with TimeWorks Films, UK to produce the black comedy feature, ‘Charlie Don’t Surf,’ featuring Jared Harris (‘Mad Men,’ ‘Lincoln,’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.’)
Watch Jared Harris in the short film ‘Cracked Eggs’ here (screenplay by Steve Jones.)
‘Cracked Eggs’ (view here) featuring Emmy-nominated ‘Mad Men’ actor, Jared Harris — who plays Ulysses S. Grant in Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ — was selected for the 2012 London Independent Film Festival and was screened at Shortwave on Saturday, April 14th.
Director — Eric Loren; Screenplay — Steve Jones; Editors — James Thomas (‘Borat,’ ‘Bruno,’) Charlie Fawcett.
Jared Harris (‘Mad Men’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’) will follow up his leading role in ‘Cracked Eggs’ by playing the role of Mick in the feature length black comedy, ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’. The film will be helmed by Eric Loren. Eric and I have been collaborating on numerous film and theatre projects since 1995.