Riding the Midnight Express: Kevin Dooley interviews Billy Hayes
Since successfully overcoming my own battles with drug addiction and homelessness I have dedicated myself to helping people recover from similar difficulties through my company Real World Recovery.
Also to help people achieve change I considered filming people share their stories of triumph with the aim to inspire change in others.
With this in mind I went along to the Soho Theatre to see ‘Riding the Midnight Express’. In this show author Billy Hayes recounts his arrest, imprisonment and escape from a Turkish prison. ‘Midnight Express’, the award winning movie is based on Billy’s autobiographical book.
After-show I met Billy and the producers Jeffrey Altshuler and Barbara Ligeti who had brought the show for New York to London. After I had raved about the show and how inspirational I found Billy and his story to be, I then pitched to the producers my idea of a filmed interview which they liked and an interview was arranged to take place in two days.
I felt ecstatic!
However I had no film equipment and no experience of interviewing someone on film.
After a lot of phoning round, and as I was about to purchase film equipment and cameras I could hardly use, I emailed offering an urgent film experience proposal to London film schools.
Three students from University of Westminster called me with an offer to provide cameras, sound and lighting. Yes, a film crew!
I have simplified the urgency, the anxiety and excitement of this process, but the resilience and tenacity I used to get my next pound when I was homeless is the same as that which fueled me to get my first film in the can in less than two days.
Hope you like it.
Kevin C. Dooley is a former criminal and heroin addict. He is now an Addiction Recovery Consultant and Cultural/Social Entrepreneur. Find out more about Kevin here.