Smoke and GFYS
I am quitting smoking. I use the verb in it's present tense because I still don't feel entirely comfortable using the past tense. I have fallen off the non-smoking wagon so many times in my life that it may ALWAYS seem like a process. For anyone contemplating smoking - just slap yourself for me. Detoxing when you stop is just ridiculously uncomfortable.
And, you know, you miss it. More accurately, you miss the social aspects.
On Breaking Dawn, I would generally find Rob Pattinson already smoking when I'd go outside to sneak a few puffs in. We would generally start chatting about whatever, he'd get fired up about whatever we were discussing and he would then generally finish his cigarette and ask for one of mine. He'd light another one and we'd keep talking. Then I'd light another one. We would chain smoke if there was a long enough break on set. I hate to say that's how we got to know each other but that's how we got to know each other. As shooting went on, I was smoking a LOT. Getting sick, looking tired, yada, yada, yada. So, I started my daily rant that my wife is ALL too familiar with through many attempts to quit - " I gotta stop smoking".
Rob looks at me and says, "You know, I heard that if you quit before you're 30 you're in the clear, health-wise."
Since I am passed 30, that doesn't seem too good.
"Hey, Rob. I'm over 30."
He just looks at me totally non-plussed. "I know."
Silence. I'm waiting for the "but"…it's not coming.
"Well, aren't you just a ray of sunshine. Do me a favor - Go f*** yourself."
He's laughing hard now. He keeps trying to talk but he's laughing too hard. Feigning intense indignation, I get up to go to my room.
"Listen, man. I gotta go. Costco has a sale on caskets right now and obviously it's a matter of minutes AT MY AGE."
Now, he's having trouble breathing, he's laughing so hard. But, I'm still thinking…man…I have been smoking for way too long.
So, I am quitting. Again. Not too unusual for me. What IS unusual is what I poured that excess energy into.
Ever since I blogged the GFYS story, my website blew up with all the traffic to the "GFYS" blog with over a million hits. Fans have really taken the ball and ran with it. I see fans on Twitter telling one another to "GFYS", telling other cast members to "GFYS" and, naturally, I get several "GFYS" on a daily basis. That gave my wife and I an idea. How about we combine "GFYS" with smaller, local charities that really get overlooked when it comes to donations. Would people GFTS for charity? I must admit that the visual of people saying that they FTS for charity makes me laugh until I cry but there is also that charitable aspect. Just so people don't think I am only in it for the #GFYSLaugh…
So, I head off to New Jersey (JERSEY!) to mix and mingle with Twifans and I think this is the perfect opportunity to get some reaction and feedback to my idea. First person I see is Gil Birmingham. I REALLY like Gil. He's just super down to earth and funny and was the Twilight actor that really broke down conventions, fans and life in the world of Twilight when we met in Nashville for my first convention ever. So, when I see him in New Jersey, I am a bit surprised when my "Hey Gil!" is answered with…
"Hey. Go f*** yourself."
I look at him a little shocked. "Oh, man. How do you know about that?"
He looks at me smiling. "Are you kidding? Your "GFYS" story is known worldwide now."
Wow, I am thinking. Apparently, now the wolves know about this. I didn't work with the wolves in their "human" form so I am just praying that they think this STUPID game that has blown up beyond all healthy proportions is reasonably funny.
That being said, I decide it's time to hear opinions from the fans about my "GFYS4Charity" idea. I know they love "GFYS", as evidenced by one of my favorite fans actually shaving the letters GFYS in her hair. Charlie Bewley and I have a "Meet and Greet" coming up with a few fans and I am thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to get their reaction.
As usual, I just blurt it out. "So, I'm thinking of raising money for charity selling t-shirts and stuff. I'm calling it "GFYS4Charity".
There was a brief moment of quiet before they all exploded in laughter. Charlie was especially tickled. After all, he STARTED the online twitter version of the vamp "GFYS" game that led to my blog about it. The TwiFan that shaved "GFYS" into her hair is also VERY amused, so I am feeling pretty good about the idea.
So, my decision was made. Open a shop and give the proceeds to a smaller charity. Here's where one issue came up. I wear graphic tees ALL THE TIME. I wanted whatever the store sold to be something I would wear. And not just to a Twilight event. So, for me, Cafepress was out. I just didn't like their products enough and I felt their products were overpriced for the quality. So, I found another online t-shirt shop format that had products I would wear AND their prices were much better which allowed more profit to go to charity.
Next issue was the designs. Again, it was important to me that the designs were ones I would wear ANYWHERE (meaning - not ALL of them could be outrageously silly and sometimes the GFYS should be not so readily apparent). However, this WAS for charity, so price was important when dealing with graphic designers. So, I did some designs myself and some were designs that were low cost.
Next issue was choosing the charity. There are many charities I would love to support, namely anything to do with kids and animals. So, instead of choosing ONE charity, I am donating proceeds to a different charity every quarter.
So, until December 31, 2011, GFYS4Charity will be donating proceeds to Children of the Night. This is a charity I have supported for many years. My wife volunteered there years ago and was so moved by the kids, the founder and the staff that her passion moved me to take up the cause myself. It really is an amazing place, a last refuge for kids on the street of L.A. If you hate the designs in the shop, please consider giving to them directly. They do an enormous amount of good.
From January 1, 2012 until March 31, 2012, we will be donating proceeds to a local animal rescue on the east coast. On Twitter, there was a fan that brought up a local charity in her area that helps animals get adopted that are not easily adoptable - like pit bulls. More info to come about this worthy cause.
From April onward, I am open to suggestion. So, if you know of a great, small, local charity that needs some GFYS/TwiLOVE - shoot me an email.
Without further ado, here is GFYS4Charity. Use the category bar to browse, it's just easier. Let me know your thoughts, good or bad. This is all me flying by the seat of my pants on this thing so all input is welcome.
And - please - someone let Daniel Cudmore and Toni Trucks know that my prediction about their names being on the first page of a "GFYS" search on Google is now a reality.