Faith Ties: The Journey
The idea for FAITH TIES came from a mix of personal tragedies causing John “Rusty” Proctor to examine his own idea of faith.
“Having grown up in the church, it would seem that I would have a firm grasp on the idea,” Rusty said, “but in the midst of tragedy I found that this was not the case.”
It all started when Rusty met, fell in love with, and married the love of his life, Tracy Singer. Shortly after, Tracy would be diagnosed with Leukemia.
Two years later, Rusty was a widower after Tracy’s failed bone marrow transplant.
In the midst of the intense grief, Rusty began working on an idea for a play that was then called, “An Interesting Life”. The inspiration came from one of his favorite Christmas movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra.
“An Interesting Life” was based on a bunch of questions Rusty had about faith during his time of adjusting to a new life after Tracy’s passing. The thought was: What would the current Rusty say to keep the younger version of himself from making the same mistakes?
“I named my current self ‘Chris’ and gave this character all of the pain and grief that he had struggled through,” he said. “And I named my younger self ‘Maya’. The two characters would ‘hold court’ in my head way into the wee hours of the morning. This back and forth dialog became the basis for the play.”
The play was a complete first draft about two years later and had its first reading in Hollywood at the Underground Theatre in 2006. The reading was well received and the idea of putting it up as an actual play was then hatched.
A chance meeting through a business encounter connected Rusty with James “JDob” Dobkowski and they began to read each other’s work.
“I talked about putting on the play and JDob was my biggest supporter and coach,” Rusty added. “Together with a few other key players, we set the whole thing in motion with nothing other than faith.”
They began to fill in positions and couldn’t figure out how we would get a Director on board. Knowing JDob’s background in storytelling, Rusty asked him to direct.
“JDob told me that he had never directed a play before,” Rusty said. “I told him that I had never written or produced a play before. And with that information, we moved forward – and pulled it off.”
FAITH TIES: A Christmas Drama was a financially successful and well-received stage play in Pasadena, California.
Immediately following the production of the play, Rusty asked JDob if they could turn the play into a movie.
“I already have it written in my head,” JDob said with a smile and then he quickly turned Rusty’s compelling play into an inspiring screenplay — and the two started this new journey that would transform both of their lives.
Rusty has also produced several plays, as well as directing and producing various short film projects, including the award-winning short film FAITH TIES – THE ALLEY and the soon-to-be released short FAITH TIES – THE KITCHEN, both pulled from the pages of the screenplay FAITH TIES.
JDob has had several scripts optioned, including ‘TWAS in which the two collaborated again. JDob also taught At-Risk kids in the Los Angeles area, as he pursued his writing career. His contributions in the classroom were featured in the L.A. Times and earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.
Family called JDob back East where he lives today, and continues to teach — and win awards for teaching. JDob also continues to write. His works include the inspirational novel “Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul” and two children’s books “The Second Prince” and “Klaus: The Gift-giver to All! In his spare time, he has developed the YouTube series PBJ Dog with his two boys.
Twenty-twenty (2020) was supposed to be the year for the film — then came COVID-19.
Social distancing and safer at home became the new terms used in our society. Along with that came people being anxious as they lost jobs and income and wondered what the new “normal” was going to look like for all of us.
That’s when JDob called his old friend, Rusty Proctor and proposed that they bring their spiritually uplifting screenplay directly to you through a Social Distance reading of FAITH TIES.
“I asked JDob how it would work,” Rusty added. “JDob told me, ‘I have no idea, but let’s find a way.’ And with that information, we moved forward – and again pulled it off.”
“Please enjoy the Social Distancing version of FAITH TIES and stay tuned for the film version since we will never give up on getting this made; and as JDob frequently reminds me, If we have Faith the size of a grain of mustard seed…,” — John “Rusty” Proctor.