Monday, September 18, 2006

another friend says goodbye

I first met Mark Krasnoff on the phone. I was working at the House of Blues and I had written a screenplay, which somehow Mark had gotten his hands on. I had heard his name, and knew he was an actor, but had never actually met him in the flesh...he was someone you must meet in person to really understand how powerful his personality was.

He raved and raved about the screenplay for a good 20 minutes on the phone...after our first meeting at True Brew in the CBD, I understood why he liked it as he was perfectly suited for the supporting role. I would later learn that he was perfectly suited for almost any role you gave him...he was so extremely talented.

While the screenplay never materialized into an actual film, I developed a very close relationship with Mark over the years. I would edit his demo reel for him and package it whenever he needed it. He hooked me up with a contractor to fix my house when I was completely out of options and in dire need.

Mark always had some potatos boiling in the pot.

I was one of the first people to buy a pair of Z-coils from him when he opened his shop behind the big Rue on Magazine. Whatever he was selling, I would buy it. His presence was just couldn't help but hug him when you were around him. He radiated agape.

He would love to tell me the story of how he initially followed suit with his Acadiana peers and took a job on an off-shore oil rig . It soon became apparent that Mark wasn't cut out for the manual labor required to work on the rig, so they put him in the kitchen and tried to make him a cook. He said he only knew how to make red beans and rice, so he made it the first day, and the crew loved it. But by the 3rd or 4th day, they were ready to kill him. He said they finally fired him when he nearly got crushed by a helicopter after falling asleep sunbathing on the helipad on the rig. He loved to tell me that story. I think he loved it because he knew he wasn't cut out for the status quo....he knew he was exceptional.

He was prone to wild tales sometimes, and wild tales surrounded him as told by others.

He became quite a movie star in the French speaking provinces of Canada. He made a movie in Mexico about an Elvis conspiracy. The film was based on a claim that Elvis retreated to a small Mexican village after faking his death. Mark swore to me the story was true...he almost made me believe it. There were so many curious stories surrounding Mark, one never knew what to believe.

Right after Katrina, Mark sent a mass e-mail out that described an apocalyptic scenario taking place in Ville Platte. It was a harrowing description of death and depravity which was most certainly embellished, but I know it came from a place in his heart of deep compassion....mixed with an even deeper anxiety. That was Mark...he cared so much, he couldn't separate himself from the suffering of the world...he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders day in and day out.

The post-K world was a burden too heavy even for his brave heart to carry.

I'll say goodbye to him with the words of Dylan Thomas, as I think the two shared a similar sentience:

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Goodbye my did not go gentle into the night...your gentleness touched all you met. I love you.


Anonymous said...

r.i.p. mon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for describing to us what a beautiful person Mark was and the impact he had on people. Everyone that knew him will truly miss him and the once who didn't meet him will truly miss out. Here's to a wonderful, talented person, artist, business owner, and blessed soul that he was. We will think about him always.

Jason Brad Berry said...

I can't begin to describe the loss i've felt for him in the past 42 hours. my world is a much lonlier place knowing he's not here anymore...but i'm just one of many, many, people he touched.

It was his choice and I respect that. I'm a better person for having known him and for that i feel blessed.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful piece, Dambala. I was an acquaintance of Mark's and I was saddened by the news. He was a great guy who will be missed even by those, like me, who barely knew him.

Jason Brad Berry said...

thanks bro. It's just the biggest loss i've felt from the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Kras was the most profane holy man that I ever met. There's something to be said for that. We're all lessened by his absence because he believed in all of us. That was his gift.

Lee Scharfstein said...