The Moment of Truth


A few days ago I had the fortune of receiving a phone call informing me that I have been accepted into the Spring Semester of the San Francisco Art Institute for Filmmaking on the basis of my portfolio. This is the moment of truth. My biggest worry and regret was that my high school GPA was embarrassingly low, but that was all the way back in February of 2008 – I will strive with an ammunition of ambition to no longer settle nor allow it to continue remaining at that level.

Everything is in order. My plane ticket is bought, while my tuition is paid. All I have left is to register for classes and then to get my ass over there. I even chose to room on campus.

Life is an adventure. It can be a constant fork in the road, but there are times when one of those paths are cloudy and dark, while the other has a visible destination. I think I picked the right path for once in my silly life, growing from an angry and awkward boy to becoming an I-don’t-yet-know what kind of man. Clear as day. It’s right in front of me. I won’t turn away. 

This Tristan Drue Rogers is unafraid. 

I’m proud of me for getting here after so many years of backing out of school for any reason with the thought that I can do better on my own, teaching myself to both read and write at a higher level than I did when I started. I’m 27 years old and I’m done taking the dark path to nowhere, with its winding roads, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and confusing candy cane markings.

Wednesday will be the first day of the rest of my life and I’m fucking doing it.

Hell yeah. 

Look forward to seeing posts on my progress, be they video or written assignments, or even just journals following my journey.

No more rejections for a while. Maybe a few bad grades here and there. Who knows! Maybe just a white sheet of paper filled with gold stars! We just don’t know at this point.

I’m going to my dream school, everybody! 

I applied there in 2009, got in, but due to my mother getting into a horrific car crash a week before I was set to fly over there, I stayed behind. I don’t regret that, but now it’s time to worry about myself. I fear the selfishness that this entails, but it’s been so long since I’ve done anything for myself. Maxed out credit cards. Empty pockets. A stagnant lifestyle. Drinking to find a fuzzy and happy place to exist for the night. I don’t blame these on anyone, but I do blame myself for not having the strength to take care of mine before taking care of everyone else. Maybe that is selfish. Maybe it is. 

What a year so far. Just in 2017 alone it has broken my heart, chewed me up and spit me out, yet here I am standing and stepping toward a monument of my perseverance.

Thank you to all who supported me. Where would I be without you? 

And now I’m nervous of what’s to come. How great to be nervous because of the future and not because of the ghosts haunting my past. I’m leaving them here and never looking back. 

Look for my name rolling on some credits one day. One day.

One day.

Extra Special Thanks:

Thank you to Sarahann Darlene Walker. She helped me when she had best’ve run away, confronting my mental health issues and my loss of respect for myself by being there, using tough love as well as exemplifying in everything that she does with her own art and her own life. She is everything that I want to be in life and if not for her actions and trust I would have settled for a fraction of the dreams that I feebly considered myself capable of instead of leaping headfirst into a world of crackling fire to further strengthen my skin into the toughest creed of leather, to become the man that not only she sees in me, but that I’ve wanted to be my entire life. Thanks for showing me the way. I love you, Sarah. Always. What more can I say?


Thanks to Jennifer Ryan Kaldon for a helluva beautiful recommendation letter. You’re the fucking best. If it weren’t for all our talk and baffonery at that stupid bar, I don’t know how I would have lasted there so long. You’re a dime a double dozen. And I’ll never be able to repay you. But I’ll certainly try!


Thanks to David Bravo for writing me his letter of recommendation and for always believing that my stories could make good films. Wonderers for life, brothaman! One. Can’t wait to throw a few back with you and the Bravos. I miss ya’ll and especially your dance moves, David! The most charismatic man to ever live and I stand by that. And I’m still bumpin’ Marty Robbins.


But what can be said about these fools? 

Thank you to the brothers, be they Moises Hernandez, Jose Ruben Carmona, Josh Lee Rodriguez, and David Bryan Glossen. You’re my family and even when you’ve excruciatingly and literally pushed me through the roof beyond my limits, you’ve never lost sight of what you’ve expected of me, which is to be the best that is inhumanly possible. I owe you all my life. More good times to come! BH for life!


And thank you to my mother, Andrea Rogers. I know that this is the hardest on you, but I will never not be your eldest son. I will never leave you alone to fall without the speedfast ability of my catching you. I love you, mom. Your son is making something of himself and it’s all ALL because of you. All of you is in my blood and that is the greatest gift you’ve given me. I will always be there for you. You’re my mom.


And lastly, I am not known to be a religious man, but I prayed for this, too. So, thank you, God. I know in all your wisdom that if you were listening that you could easily tell that as I tearfully spoke to you it was in a completely blithering and whimpering mode of desperation, but if you’re out there, I’ll be a real man this time around and perhaps I’ll find out why you made me the way I am through this experience.

Thanks, world. Here I come.

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