Posts Tagged ‘t-dog’

Blindsided…the IronE autobiography revealed

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

When IronE Singleton, a man most of you would recognize either as Alton in The Blind Side or as T-Dog from The Walking Dead, asked me to co-write his autobiography I was happy to jump in and help the man I knew—someone I called friend and thought I understood so well.

But then the writing process took me on a journey I didn’t quite anticipate.

From broken down Atlanta neighborhoods to the University of Georgia, from wildly uncomfortable interviews with family members who have embraced the thug life to heart breaking recollections of those who have passed, I learned the whole truth about a remarkable man. He should’ve been a statistic. Instead, despite his horrible early mistakes, he put his faith in God and found a way to rise above. He became an accomplished father, actor and man.

In many ways I think that through this project, with the Singleton family’s openness and love throughout, IronE was ultimately more help to my spirit than I was to his writing.

I’m very excited to announce that IronE’s autobiography …

Blindsided by the Walking Dead:

From surviving the streets to slaying the geeks

Is now available for pre-order!!

You can pick up a copy by clicking on the link above.

Here’s a little bit of what you’ll find inside its’ pages:

On the streets of Atlanta, the fight to survive is a daily battle.

From the drug-infested corners of one of the city’s worst housing projects, to alleyways filled with ravenous zombies– Blindsided by the Walking Dead examines one man’s battle to overcome the violence, drugs, and crime of the ‘hood; starting with a young IronE Singleton determined to succeed despite an abusive mother, an absent father, and the temptations of instant gratification inherent with the thug life.

Football and Faith in God become IronE’s allies in his quest to escape and help him reach for the lights of the University of Georgia’s football field and theater stages.

After years of struggle–failed businesses, small roles, and an ill-fated trip to Los Angeles–IronE snags his major breakthrough role, playing the kind of drug-dealing, gun-toting thug he would have become on the streets, in The Blind Side.

When he is cast as T-Dog on AMC’s international mega-hit “The Walking Dead”, IronE examines through art what humanity is about and what it means to truly survive against all odds. Alongside cast mates Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Andrew Lincoln, IronE fought, gagged, and sweat his way into the hearts and minds of millions around the world.

Breaking the Chief: Piggies Under Attack

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

People often remark I look tired, stressed, overworked…scattered. I try to tell them it isn’t my fault! Yes, I work hard, don’t sleep enough and have waaaay too much to do…but what really gets me? Is the universe’s craptastically odd sense of humor. I submit my evidence for the day.

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In the last year and a half I have been attacked by Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, a duo of grabby-feely aliens who strolled into a Marriot hotel bar, a vampire in a top hat and a group of over-enthusiastic Jedi Knights that were hell-bent on presenting me with a light saber. I’ve even weathered a duct tape attack by Michael Rooker, a katana swipe by Anthony Guajardo and a chokehold by Norman Reedus…but I guess I asked for those. People who spend enough time around me almost always feel compelled to head to the nearest store for duct tape. Don’t ask.

Yes, my life as the Commander in Chief of the Zombie Survival Crew definitely has its’ moments. When the adventures do not include possible threats to my physical well-being I actually quite enjoy them.

And seeing as I’ve survived thus far…they all get filed away in the “funny little stories” department at Zombie Survival Crew Command. Usually to be pulled out by other commanders (*points at LK Gardner-Griffie*) at the precise moment when they’re likely to cause me the most chagrin.

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But being the Chief also has its perks, or so I thought as I surveyed the gathering at IronE Singleton’s house this past weekend for the Season 3 premiere of AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead. I mean, T-Dog was in the house!!!!! Literally! And they had red, black and gray-colored M&Ms in a serving bowl with skeleton-hand handles—it doesn’t get any better than that! Although the deviled eggs covered in paprika and some funky onion thing I couldn’t identify were so flippin’ tasty I did hang just a tad too close, for too long, to the serving area to be decent. Right. Not creepy at all. Anyway…

The best part was watching the premiere with a group of people who obviously love the show as much as I do. It made a very nice change from my normal routine—which involves me, in my bed, under the blankets, cringing, shouting like a maniac at the TV at regular intervals…and hoping the neighbors don’t decide to call the police. The assembly screamed encouragement as T-Dog put a fire poker through a walker’s face, cringed as the survivor group fought its’ way into the prison, gagged and choked as Hershel underwent an impromptu operation and roared with approval when the final scene ended.

The Walking Dead not only delivered, the show hit it so far out of the park it’ll be well into 2013 before anyone can even think of recovering that ball!

And that’s when it all went south…

You see they had this cool photo shoot area set up where people were taking pictures with IronE and Michael Rooker, who had shown up to turn the party on its ear with his fantastic running commentary during the premiere. I figured this was my chance to get a nice professional-type photo with two men I admire as actors and adore as people.

But Michael decided he wasn’t happy with our outfits and proceeded to make some changes. During the melee that ensued, IronE got to keep his shoes, but I lost mine and my carefully coiffed hairdo went the way of the dodo. My picture ended up being comprised of one giggling thespian, a bad ass and someone who looks like she fell off the back of a potato truck! You know? If you sing that refrain to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas, it kind of works. Just sayin’….

Until next time…carry anti-bacterial hand soap, avoid sidewalk creatures and never get near a video camera if I’m in the vicinity.

Team Terzieff…self aware?

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Ok I have to admit this didn’t turn out quite the way I planned it. I know, I know. Big surprise there. As Commander-in-Chief of the Zombie Survival Crew I’ve gotten very used to that. *grins*

When I started out my The Walking Dead mid-season break character profile series I didn’t figure that I would end up self-analyzing the entire way through.  But it seemed every time I went to delve into the mind of a character from AMC’s hit television show (based off a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman), I found little pieces of myself along the way.

Well, not always.

I purposely started out with the characters I felt the most kinship for: the tormented former lawman Shane Walsh, the squirrel-tossing badass Daryl Dixon, and the elder statesman, Dale,

…before moving on to Glenn, Andrea, Rick Grimes, Merle Dixon and Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas, Carol Peletier, Hershel and Maggie Greene and finally Lori and Carl Grimes.

Now I may not have stared down a horde of hungry zombies, but I have been through multiple war zones and natural disasters. I know how I react when being shot at, manhandled, detained by people whose language I do not speak or standing ankle deep in body parts.

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Team Merle, Team T-Dog… a tag team

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

They are the oddest couple I know. One is a strung out, racist, redneck with a really bad attitude and cojones only a fool would dare challenge. The other is a black man built like a Mack truck who displays good intentions and guts, but harbors doubts about his place in a zombie-infested society. When they meet sparks, …or rather blood and spit, certainly fly. It’s a feast for the eyes and the spirit…for both Merle Dixon and Theodore Douglas, better known as T-Dog, are grappling with issues of race, survival and what it means to honestly show your true colors.

Who are Merle Dixon and Theodore Douglas? They are characters from The Walking Dead—a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman turned into one of the world’s hottest cable television shows by AMC and an insanely talented production crew. They have created cast of characters I have a great deal of love for:

If you aren’t watching the show you should be. From the moment the show begins viewers are taken on the undead ride of a lifetime, watching a cast of beleaguered humans fight not only to survive, but to retain that which makes us most human.

These two characters represent the opposite ends of the spectrum in a battle that has raged since the beginning of recorded history. Are we, the human family, truly one? Or, are we divided by race, religion, ethnicity and/or politics? Are we a global family? Or, is it us against them? Neither man is evil. Both are, at least partially, products of their environments. And both men have valuable lessons to teach us about what it means to be human.

[***WARNING: Spoilers ahead***]

Everyone loves Merle. Wait, scratch that. Everyone loves Michael Rooker, a singular actor who can take the most vile character and leave viewers salivating for more. But it isn’t just Rooker. Merle is able to do what most of us cannot—to be true to who he is and speak his mind no matter how unpopular his feelings might be. Putting aside, briefly, that Merle is a danger to pretty much anyone he encounters including his own family members, there is a sort of freedom there that few human beings have the guts to display.  T-Dog certainly doesn’t have that kind of courage—it is only when ravaged by fever that he is able to give voice to the dark thoughts he harbors within about race and the fate of the black man. While he may later express disgust with the bile that spewed forth from a fevered mind, he cannot really deny that those were—at least, in part—his true feelings…and given the state of pre-zombiepocalypse society, not entirely unjustified.

T-Dog, played by IronE Singleton, is the main survivor group’s conscience personified. After Merle’s disgusting display on the roof, it is T-Dog who steps forward to take on the responsibility for Merle’s fate even though he, above all the others, would have the most reason to turn and walk away. He took the responsibility for dropping the key and delivers a message few want to hear—that the blood is on their hands, and no matter how repugnant Merle may be his fate will weigh on their spirits. By securing the door with a chain and padlock even as he fled the rooftop scene, T-Dog recognized that his anger towards Merle was human, but that the outcome was untenable.

The one vs. the many. Merle and T-Dog, because of who they are as men, have polar opposite approaches to survival. Merle needs no one and sees the pansies, democrats and n*ggers as negatives rather than assets. T-Dog sees every individual as having a place on this earth with value to add to the group. In this regard Merle is hopelessly deluded. A man may be able to survive physically on his own, but the human spirit requires others to flourish.

Both Merle and T-Dog have strength of spirit, the strength of true survivors. If you pull away the layers of drugs, acerbic wit and short-sighted views of Merle, and the doubts about his place in the main survivor group as a whole in the case of T-Dog, both men have a strength to them. Seriously. How many people out there could do what Merle did on the roof, and in the kitchen with the iron? How many can continuously put aside fear and loneliness to act in the best interest of the group as a whole with no real sense of acrimony?

Which leads me to the rub. Is there a place for a man like Merle in a group of survivors for which he expresses little more than outright disdain? Should a man who consistently puts the group before himself feel like an outsider? And, ultimately, should the group survive long enough to begin a true rebuilding process, can they—the new human family—rise above the hurts of the past to chart a more humane future?

With special thanks to R.C. Murphy

Team Rick…on a mission

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Any good story is bound to have that one character who is one horse short of being an honest-to-goodness cowboy. I’m not talking about the “shoot ’em up” guys that do it because they have a gun fetish, but the guys that fight to uphold their morals. Morals they learned with a hand on their momma’s apron hem and had drilled into their heads by hard working fathers. Rick Grimes came into existence long after the Cowboy Era, yet he still fits the part. Heck, when he made his first appearance on television they even gave him an actual horse–well until it was eaten by a horde of hungry zombies.

Who is Rick Grimes? He is a character from The Walking Dead—a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman turned into one of the world’s hottest cable television shows by AMC and an insanely talented production crew. They have created cast of characters I have a great deal of love for:

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Team Dale…ever steady

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Everyone, whether fictional or flesh and blood, needs a person they can go to in times of emotional turmoil. That person holds up a mirror to reflect their true self. Without them, we are doomed to keep repeating mistakes, or worse, destroying who we really are by trying to pretend we’re someone different and going against our nature. Dale is that man. He speaks the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear.

Who is Dale? He is a character from The Walking Dead—a series of graphic novels by Robert Kirkman turned into one of the world’s hottest cable television shows by AMC and an insanely talented production crew. Like the tormented character of Shane Walsh, the squirrel-tossing badass Daryl Dixon and the honorable Glenn for all of whom I’ve already expressed great affection, Dale’s tireless battle to honor his fellow man has my unflinching support…and gratitude.

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A Vato for all Seasons

Monday, December 27th, 2010

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First time I ever laid eyes on Anthony Guajardo he was covered in tattoos and calling everybody “puto.” Little did I know at the time that beneath The Walking Dead grime of a character named Miguel dwelt a young actor with a heart of gold.

 

As many of my regular readers know, Anthony has since come onboard as a co-captain of the Zombie Survival Crew, issuing video dispatches from the ZSC Command Center for the brigades.

The truth is there’s a lot more to this intelligent, engaged teenage actor from San Antonio, TX than zombies and temporary tattoos. I asked Anthony to make an appearance here to talk about something besides walkers and share his hopes for 2011.

Somehow I convinced Anthony to take me on essay style in a battle to the death of his fingers …. He gets points for bravery, especially after what happened to IronE “T-Dog” Singleton when he decided to take on the crew!

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The Walking Dead’s T-Dog takes aim at my crew!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

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I am super excited and smilin’ like a fool!

Robert “IronE” Singleton – T-Dog on AMC’s new hit The Walking Dead

has graciously agreed to get further involved with the #zombiesurvivalcrew and takes us on in a battle to the death of his fingers!

You have 48 hours to ask IronE any question you like by posting your query in the comment section!

Twitter Retweets and blog shout outs are encouraged!

IronE – from all of us on the #zombiesurvivalcrew – THANK YOU for doing this! Way to love the fans! And if there was ever any doubt you should be on the bus … well, heck, after this, I may even let you drive!

I will close out the “ask” period at 12 noon EST on Wednesday, December 1!!

His answers – barring any last minute scheduling conflicts – will appear just after The Walking Dead finale!!

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A few ground rules:

  • You can ask all you want, but IronE’s a busy guy so let’s keep it concise please!
  • I will have IronE review questions in the order they are posted. (with one caveat, see next item)
  • If we get overrun with questions [20 cap], official #zombiesurvivalcrew peeps get first crack.
  • There are certain things he can’t reveal, so if you ask about Season 2 or future plans he may not be able to give a full answer.
  • I reserve the right to ask a question. (LOL)
  • Keep it clean and respectful! I will toss any questions I find offensive or vulgar.

 

And that’s it!

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So my fellow SURVIVORS … what do you want to know???

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I’m not crazy, but my zombie crew may be …

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Advance apologies to any first time readers.

 

If you run away screaming and never come back, I get it, I understand ….

 

That being said?

 

If you decide to do so, please do not expect me to include you when the zombie apocalypse unfolds and my #zombiesurvivalcrew is headed for a pre-planned safe harbor.

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As my regular readers know AMC’s new show The Walking Dead has already caused me some consternation following a truly disturbing reenactment of a recurring nightmare I have.

Now that we’re headed to the back end of a painfully short season, I find the show is forcing me to reevaluate the composition of my Zombie Survival Crew.

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The Background:

I am not crazy. Odd? Maybe. Crazy? No.

I am a former foreign war correspondent with SAS-run combat training, writer of both fiction and nonfiction, and an avid monster freak from birth.  Zombies may not attack tomorrow, but it never hurts to be prepared for an emergency, so yes, *puts hands on hips and glares* I DO have a zombie survival plan.

I am also a great believer in the power each one of us has individually to act humanely towards one another regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or otherwise – and have repeatedly endorsed cooperation and self-sufficiency as keys to surviving a zombie apocalypse (or massive natural disaster or man-made attack).

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The Roster:

  • Me (hey, it’s my crew, so yeah, I get listed first)
  • A former Army medic
  • A colleague who is survivalist that can build a log cabin or grow food in any climate
  • A fellow writer who is quite well trained on using knives and swords
  • A pilot (a cashier at my local Blockbuster who initially, but politely, ran away from me when I told him my plan)
  • An engineer
  • Another writer who excels in double fudge brownie making, who would likely become trip-her-to-escape nominee number one for my third writer friend on the crew

 

That was until The Walking Dead came into play …

Lesson 1: Ya need a redneck, y’all

Now I know I saw an interview somewhere with Norman Reedus – who plays the squirrel tossing Daryl Dixon — where he joked he would likely curl up in a ball and cry if the zombie hordes began shambling down the street.

So, that means I have to go with Michael Rooker – who plays Merle, Daryl’s tough-as-nails brother – as my resident redneck tough guy. Ummm, yeah, Rooker is playing a character, of course, but the man was born in Alabama, has known hardship and has that look in his eyes – so I’m going to run with it.

Now that’s not to say I wouldn’t save a space for Norman on the bus – especially if he brings his crossbow. (Hey all the Boondock Saints weapons work has got to mean something, right?)

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NORMAN IS IN!!!!

He even begged a little, tho he DEFinitely didn’t have to!! or wait, maybe that was the other way round … (see the comment section for his actual post but here it is!!)

From Norman: im in let me in . i got skills . i eat just about anything . ha . oh yeah and im tuff.

Thanks man!!!

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