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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Fax: 540-483-8013

Fork Mountain man living the dream in California
Patrick McClanahan is working on project with Hollywood stars
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Courtesy Photo: Patrick McClanahan (right), formerly of Franklin County, is now working on an anti-bullying campaign in Hollywood with celebrities like as Jim Carrey (left).

Monday, January 27, 2014

By DEBORAH FERRELL - Special to the News-Post

Leaving the safe, secure family nest for the bright lights of Hollywood is a story that seems as old as time. For most folks, the dream remains simply a dream.

However, former Franklin County resident Patrick Ryan Williams (now known as Patrick McClanahan) is making his dreams come true in California.

McClanahan, 24, left Fork Mountain in 2011 to pursue an acting and business career.

"I immediately started an aggressive attack on making an impact on my goals as soon as I got to Los Angeles," he recalled. "I gave up a lot that I didn't want to leave behind -- my family, friends, a girlfriend I really cared about -- to move to Los Angeles where I only knew one other person. I put the pedal to the metal because I didn't want my sacrifices to be in vain, and I wanted to do bigger things that could give me the resources to help support the people I care about and help make opportunities for people that want to pursue their own 'unreachable' goals. I wanted it to mean something to me personally, but I was also really interested in helping others."

Within days, the determined young man was making new connections to some of the top "players" in the entertainment industry, he said. It didn't take long for McClanahan to start working in internet advertisements, music videos, print ads and commercials before starting a clothing line, Evolved Attire, with street artist Steve "Mowgli" Moffet.

McClanahan recently became a co-owner of a development team planning the relaunch of the web radio station "Radio Titans." He is also working on the development of a new music platform with the backing of Silicon Valley veterans and some of the top names working for major record labels, he said.

McClanahan has accomplished all this while finishing a college degree in communications from California State University at Northridge.

McClanahan recently spent a month at his Fork Mountain home with his parents, Floyd and Virginia Williams, and younger sister, Rene.

"I come home two or three times a year to spend time with my family," he said. "The holidays are an especially difficult time to handle business in Los Angeles so that makes it a really good time for me to get away and kick back here."

He returned to California on January 13.

Back on the West Coast, McClanahan is back to work on an anti-bullying project that will feature interviews with Hollywood celebrities, such as Jim Carrey and Charlie Sheen.

"Naturally, I had to get involved after seeing the kind of impact we could create," McClanahan said of the project. "I was floored after watching the video and the work that had been accomplished so far."

McClanahan created an internet presence with a twitter account and website, www.doyouthinkimajoke.org, for the project.

"The website has a ton of links, various celebrity interviews, bios and press information about people who are getting involved, including Charlie Sheen and Carrot Top," said McClanahan.

"We have approached a lot of other stars about adding their input, such as Jim Carrey, Kat Von Dee and Lawrence Fishburne. I approached Eric Roberts, and he has confirmed to be a part of the project," he added. "I am working with Kelly Rowland's camp now to nail down a date, and Steven Tyler seemed enthusiastic about the project. We are trying to get the greatest people from various aspects of entertainment so we can spread the message more effectively."

He said he quickly discovered that working with various management teams slows down getting commitments for the artists to participate.

"We're also still getting tracks together for the anthem that inspired the film," McClanahan said. "It is in a similar vein 'We Are the World.' The song and film will be used to raise awareness of resources available to help anyone being bullied, as well as raise money for the Center For Abuse Awareness and the Canadian Centre For Abuse Awareness. We're also looking at the opportunity to throw a benefit concert before the film is completed."

The documentary style film will be based on the journey of the project with back story information, McClanahan said.

"Michael Biehn gave a tremendous interview with some unexpected twists," he said. "Charlie Sheen's young daughter was a victim of bullying at her school so he has a lot to say about the topic. There will be a number of tender moments."

The film will be submitted to various film festivals following its projected release in late 2014 to mid-2015.

In addition to his developmental efforts on the project, McClanahan is also looking for sponsors and funding for various costs of production and publicity.

"My goal for the 'Do You Think I'm a Joke' project is to bring the issue of bullying into the greatest possible spotlight for the whole world to see," he said. "We hope to accomplish this through a strong festival push and theatrical release."

For more information, contact McClanahan at patrickryanwilliams@gmail.com.

 
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