Freudian Slips

Freudian SlipsImage Hosted by


My Photo
Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 04, 2012

New Wheels

My new 2012 Mazda 3 in Dolphin Grey.

December 30, 2011

Career Path

December 30, 2011 is the last official work day of doing the same job that defined me for the last 20 years.  During this time, I never considered other employment nor sat for one promotional interview.  It was a chosen career path that began and ended faithfully serving the handicapped clients on my caseload.  It has been proposed that if you truly love your job, you will never work a day in your life.  Not true!  While I approach my last workday as if it is the sudden death of a social worker, new responsibilities are alive and well in 2012.

October 31, 2011

Jonan the Barbarian

As Jonan the Barbarian, I enjoyed a rousing day of revelry at the Pennsylvania Rennaisance Faire in Manheim, PA.
Posted by Picasa

July 15, 2011

For the First Time in Public

It's not everyday the online dating community turns up an attractive woman a couple years my junior who has worked for the same employer longer than a veteran like myself. Lisa is the most compassionate woman I have ever dated in my life. Somebody pinch me because I'm smitten after three weeks.



After this first ever picture of Lisa and I was taken poolside, we actually heard church bells from her place of worship. You just can't make this stuff up.


June 22, 2011

Divorce Cake

No, it wasn't my birthday. It's my divorce cake! Hooray! Of the guests in attendance, it didn't leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth.


June 20, 2011

A Tree Grows in Officeland

The Weed Tree, Westville, New Jersey in 2011

The first time I met Milroy Lee, a high functioning gregarious developmentally disabled client, we were crossing paths outside my satelite office...Since it was a hot day, we decided to chat underneath the comfort of a shade tree where an arbor used to similarly sun shield a wooden picnic table. Milroy asked me how long I have been working for my particular agency as a social worker. With the arbor gone, I tried to equate tenure with our immediate environment.

I answered, "I've been working here since before this tree was here that we are standing under. It used to be a sapling that Crew Labor clients forgot to mow..I almost hanked it out of the ground one day but thought better of it. Eventually, it got big enough that nobody bothered to mow it down. It stands here wondrous now casting welcome shade, kind of like we by both design and by accidental intention....Do you understand me, Milroy?"
He grasped what I was saying in his own world. "Yeah, like how your co-worker transferred me to you. She had a plan to bring us together. She thought I needed a male case manager."
A friendship grew as a decade passed. I learned of Milroy's death at work on the telephone from another stuttering disabled client whose only clarity included the unbelievable sentence, "Milroy Lee is dead!"
Startled and stung, I hung up the phone and ran out of the building short of breath to the point of hyperventilating. I stopped by that same tree....I thought of that first conversation I had with Milroy here underneath the tree. The ironic madness made me cry...knowing Milroy was killed accidentally as a pedestrian on this same damn street and now only me and the tree were left by accidental intention. Milroy was gone.


May 30, 2011

Penchant for Pensions

While lobby waiting with my develomentally disabled client for his outpatient psychiatry appointment, I received a text message on my cell phone. As a single-minded guy back on the meat market, I checked my incoming text. Luigi, who is illitierate but inquisitive, asked me who the text was from.

I replied for the sake of argument. "I suppose you could call her my girlfriend."

Luigi, "No chance getting back with the old lady? Is your marriage definitely over, Joe?"

"For all intents and purposes it's over but I have few regrets."

"Where does this woman work?"

"She works for the Division of Youth and Family Services."

I noticed that Luigi's neck crooked more my way than in previous dialogue but it was his smirk that garnered more of my attention.

He inquired, "Doesn't your ex work for the government too?"

"Outstanding memory. Yes, she sure does."

Luigi draped his arm around me for emotional support....."Trying a little too hard to get back that lost pension, aren't you, buddy?"

A receptionist announced Luigi's name to be seen. Luigi stood proudly. Slump shouldered, I sulked all the way to the psychiatrist looking for a couch.


May 10, 2011

Saving Face in Warrior

Nick Nolte not Joseph Tornatore in Warrior.

The official theatrical movie trailer has been released for the upcoming mixed martial arts movie entitled Warrior. Through Ryan Casting out of Atlantic City, I was hired to do some acting both as a background extra and as Nick Nolte's stand in. After trying to act ahead of a Academy Award nominee like Nolte, background acting seemed a more suitable fit. The trailer looks dramatically inviting. Whatever Nick Nolte does naturally in the movie, I didn't do nearly as good after multiple takes. That is why I keep the day job.


April 25, 2011

Flowers for Alfrednon

I attended a school meeting of a precocious 17-year-old girl diagnosed with mild intellectual disability and oppositional defiance disorder, the latter of which is more relevant to our story. Doreen is succeeding rather colorfully by parental arrangement in vocational technical school learning the fine art of horticulture. Her social skills are a different subject all together.

During the meeting, Doreen brought it to everyone’s attention that she desried to give her brain-injured teenage boyfriend her latest floral bouquet creation. The mother kept saying men do not accept flowers, do not embarrass him on the short bus, the last of which is a pejorative descriptive term to say the least.

My client felt the need to advocate for herself. She replied that horticulture was her career choice. Doreen proudly wanted and needed to show him what she created. She also wanted him to take the flowers home for him to display as a show of her affection. As her social worker, I felt that she made a good argument from her polarized perspective but she pouted under her mother's dominion.. The mother finally relented that her daughter could do what she wanted but that she was going to be sorry.

Doreen sprouted right up in her chair, much like a morning glory...She barked, "No, I won't be sorry. If Alfred doesn't accept my flowers, I'm going to punch him in the f**cking face."


April 10, 2011

A Sheen Getaway

I just returned from a fabulous two-night three-day getaway to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The greatest freedom about becoming single again is the punching of your own time clock. I used my time wisely until I was punch drunk and out of time.
I auditioned at Ryan Casting for a speaking part in a pilot TV show for True Crime network. I participated in Bally’s casino promotional filming for the grand opening of their ICandy burlesque lounge headlined by sultry Baywatch cast member Angelica Bridges. In between acting, my method was to overindulge in life.
On Thursday, I saw a mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil show at Boardwalk Hall. Chock full of unusual acts, the evening’s biggest surprise may have come when the establishment carded my company before serving her wine.
The following day, I got reacquainted with a woman my contemporary who I used to work with twenty years ago.
Like a glutton for more sensory stimulation, I basked in four hours of deep tissue massage, pushed my body through gym workouts and ate like a heavyweight at buffets. On Saturday, I got befriended wearing my bathing suit in an inhalation room then put on some good threads to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra play in Ceasar's Circus Maximus Theatre.
Duh, I heard the Charlie Sheen tour is off to a rough start. Well, I felt like two and a half men for a couple of days anyway.

Labels: ,

March 29, 2011

Throwing Shoes

Scientists claim that genetically human beings are only three people apart. Genetic code understood, it is the interplay of people that come into our lives whose imprint makes our experiences unique.
In my twenty-five year career in human services, I have been rarely caught unprepared but that is what happened when I let the file of a new case sit unattended on my desk. While I only had time to peruse it for a few minutes, it proved enough time to glean a nightmare. I scheduled an initial home visit to explain my agency services because I recognized the immense needs of a disadvantaged disabled teenage girl.
However, weeks later I showed up at this home without the file and only a haunting sketch memory of the cold read of the newest client on my caseload. Doreen sat quietly at the kitchen table of her impoverished home environment. With her head lowered in deliberate shyness, Doreen’s mother explained the reason for her distrust of men. That is when the sordid details of the case came flooding back to me. Suddenly, I didn’t want to be here. I took a deep breathe of compassion and exhaled preconceived notions.
The mother’s face could best be described in the single word of stress. She appeared as though Father Time had worked twice as fast on her watchtower. She warned, “Consider yourself lucky if Dorie doesn’t throw her shoes at you. She does that to all men to let you know she ain’t going anywhere with you and to keep your distance.”
I lifted the vinyl tablecloth covering the round end kitchen table in a quaint suburban home. I looked underneath the table at Doreen, who immediately squirmed.
“Nah, I think Doreen likes me. See that? She is barefoot and has nothing to throw. She’s not giving me the boot just yet. I think she trusts me as her social worker.”
A smile ruptured on her infantile face. A giddy laugh squeaked out before she caught its contagiousness like too much of a good thing turned bad. After that inroad, Doreen began to warm up to me but her soft voice seemed congruent with her damaged self image and low self esteem. She deferred to her mother in the beginning until I eased her with more simpleton humor. After the first hour, she began to maintain eye contact. She started to intently listen and related her ambitions in concrete terms…first with single word phrases expounded by her mother then actual burgeoning conversation starters. She became my favorite client because of what I perceived to be her sense of survival to endure.
Her biological father languished behind bars for unspeakable felonies. Before his incarceration, Jed led a relatively quite life by repeatedly physically abusing Doreen’s mother’s body to the point of his removal from the house via restraining order. Jed's exodus occurred not before the children witnessed the domestic abuse during their impressionable developmental years. Doreen’s mental retardation made these pivotal years arrested development in more ways than one. Raising two daughters and a son by herself below poverty levels, Doreen’s mother next took in a transient man for financial support and to help parent the children. The man decided to sexually abuse the fledgling daughters behind closed doors of mistrust. For the next eight years, he violated both children. Unbeknownst to the mother, it turned out to be a family secret reinforced by not only threats of harm against the children if they told anyone but eventually Doreen’s older sister ending up the strangled victim in an unsolved murder. God saved Doreen’s brother of harm maybe by only gender design.
Like a breath of fresh air, Doreen fondled a live flower bouquet on the kitchen table for a second time.
As I worried if they were for her sister’s grave, I had to ask anyway. “Doreen, what do you want to tell me about those flowers?”
The mother answered overtop her daughter’s slow to move lips. “She excels at horticulture. That floral arrangement won first prize in a juried exhibition. Dorie wants your approval.”
Doreen reached and raised the flowers to my nose. I smelled its marvelous fragrance then complimented her creativity.
The mother seemed pleased by the bonding. “Your’e doing remarkable with her. Dorie doesn’t open up to adult men. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Doreen put down the flowers and got up and retrieved her purse. She reached into her private stock and pulled out a color brochure of a nearby apartment complex. I learned in conversation that the complex dedicated a few new units for subsidized housing. She showed me the schematic floor plan by pointing emphatically to a 12x10 bedroom. It was already established that she slept on a couch, suffered flashback nightmares and relied on tranquilizers to gain shut eye. Doreen knew my role in her life and I already knew where she was headed. She just needed help getting there. I inferred that Doreen wanted me to fund the move to a new apartment to exorcise the demons of this falling down house of horrors.
I leaned as close as Doreen let me without invading her personal space. I lowered my voice to just above a whisper. “If I could assist, would you bring your shoes with you to your new home or go barefoot?”
She answered, “I’ll keep the shoes on my feet there. I promise.”
Doreen took the life out me like flowers dying in the hard sun. This social worker broke the eye contact that he worked so hard to establish with his client. I turned away to let the salty tear finish running down my stunned cheek. No file review could have prepared me for this heavy moment anyway. If human beings are indeed only three people apart, because of the last two evil men in her life it only took two good people to feel as one. I never felt more compassion to any other child so quickly in my life.


March 23, 2011

Limited on Limitless

Entering its second week as the number one movie at the box office nationwide, the movie Limitless is garnering positive acclaim. Starring Robert Dinero and Bradley Cooper, I decided to patronage a motion picture I did menial work on as an actor. Sitting in the dark theatre, the polished coming attractions made me reflect on filming the actual movie Limitless.
On the closed set in downtown Philadelphia, I could not peel my eyes off Robert Dinero and Bradley Cooper for different reasons. Robert Dinero carried charismatic airs as if he had exacted the gristle of experience from every movie that he had ever acted in. Bradley Cooper is indubitably the most ridiculously handsome man I ever saw in person. While staring at his sickening Ken doll physique, he startled me by his approach. Cooper thereby asked me of my favorite South Philly pizzeria. I reacted sheepishly about being a New Jersey resident and that I did not leave my home state to scout for better mozzarella. Stupid is what stupid does. After Bradley Cooper wised up and lost interest in me, I was no more prepared when director Neil Burger(The Illusionist) instructed me to act like Robert Dinero was entering the restaurant on film. “Huh?” I questioned, “But he is Robert Dinero coming through the front door.” “No, act like you are in awe of Robert Dinero.” “I am in complete awe of Robert Dinero, Neil. He's one of the greatest actors of all time.” The director grew impatient with my inability to think abstractly outside the box. I was acting limited on Limitless. ”Bobby D’s character is one of the richest men on the planet. Pretend Dinero is Steve Forbes.”
Before the big hook could come for my neck stage left in favor of an understudy, I managed to convey complete understanding of the establishing tone of the scene to the director. In fact, my learning curve seemed momentarily as great as Bradley Cooper’s character speeding on the experimental drug NZT-48. I could have ordered Cooper a phenomenal takeout pizza to go just by glancing at a closed phonebook.
While the big screen showed the single scene I acted in, it became disappointingly apparent that the roll picked up after I had greeted Robert Dinero entering the upscale restaurant for his sit down meeting with Bradley Cooper. With fish-eye lens views and panoramic 360-degree digital effect spins the norm in this production, I felt pride to still have made the final cut and be seen, however fleetingly, in focus in the same frame as legendary actor Robert Dinero. Not too cheesy for an Italian non-union actor who only eats his pizza in Jersey.


March 19, 2011

Bathroom Stall Tactics

I am still trying to extract nostalgic terms about returning to my high school as a middle aged man. After watching a comedy show with my company last night, I left her grace in the auditorium in search of the closest bathroom. Bladder retention isn’t what it used to be as when I bounced around these halls as a testosterone laced lad circa 1980.
As I passed by a dusty sports trophy case of yesteryear, I reminisced about sports that I can only marginally play for exercise now. The wall-mounted video cameras seemed an intrusive addition to a place of learning but the passage of time took its greatest picture on my memory banks. Perhaps it was nothing more than a man now walking commensurate with his age, but I entered the bathroom in what seemed like slow motion. Although it looked and smelled alarmingly the same, I sensed one changed variable. A person who has aged and changed.
I remembered last using this same bathroom urinal after watching our school’s senior play. I recalled the cockiness of my whole life that once laid before me. Now I do not even take pissing straight for granted. It took me all of thirty-one years to return to my high school. As amber urine trickled down a porcelain throne, I realized that my life was more than halfway over and many of those years came with its own wrecking ball. I mused why we are all here. Returning to my stomping grounds produced such a residual effect on me that I pulled out my high school yearbook today…There I was wearing pictorial optimism alongside the haunting caption…To find the meaning of life…a seemingly lifelong journey as it's starkness continues to imprint on me.


March 01, 2011

Bringing Home the Bacon

One of my faithful blog readers, sent me this outlandish take on the Kevin Bacon Hollywood movie game. Joseph Tornatore is in the upcoming movie Warrior with actress Jennifer Morrison, who was in the movie called Stir of Echoes starring Kevin Bacon. There is nothing like self-depricating humor to stir echoes of persona non gratis.


January 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

Our hearts hold the answer key to all of love's mystery...but it is also the hiding place that we have come to fear.

Ah, its wonderful to start writing again.


January 20, 2011

Counting Footprints

Wearing no more attire than is necessary, I am strolling the beach without a care or responsibility in the world. It is midday but time does not matter. There are no clocks or signs of civilization. The sandy terrain shifting around my footsteps form ankle-high casts like memory foam. The ocean waves churn a blend of turquoise water and white caps in mesmerizing randomness. Flying seagulls looking for their next meal complete my soundtrack.
Capturing my line of sight, the sky is a solid blue canvas accented by small cumulous clouds. These clouds float like marshmallow glory. The faithful sun beams glitter upon the blanket of sand before my trek. My body finds ultra comfort in not only the sunshine but the rewarding low humidity. I am walking against a gentle breeze by my own choosing. My exposed skin is cooled by the welcoming feeling of Mother Nature’s invisible powers. As I breathe in her blush, my nostrils flare to catch refreshing doses of moist salt air.
The temperature beckons comfort with a 75 degree holding pattern. Test tube mercury has never been so stable. The forecast calls for only a fifteen degree difference between sunrise and sunset…enough certainty of variance to appreciate the passage of time but relish being alive in the moment.
I am in tune with the simple pleasures of the awe inspiring world around me that appear both fictitious and authentic…as if I am walking on literary sand of a romance novel’s folded page. I happen to look down at the goose bumps on my forearms that conjure my contentment when I am reminded that I am not alone. There is a warm flesh and blood hand lovingly gripping mine. I look over to the person that is half my whole. A burst of fireworks fuel my smile. Neither of us needs to say a word so we defer to companionship’s silence. It’s all been defined in the beauty of landscape and intimacy anyway. Her finger locked grasp represents a blessed union of mutual respect and equality. We leave only our footprints behind. Everything lays ahead.


December 02, 2010

Souper Man

This is a still frame of me from the Donovan McNabb Tug of War. I found it displayed prominently on radio host Mike Missenalli's Facebook page. Actors will do anything when the camera is rolling. The pool of minestrone soup tasted full-bodied!


November 05, 2010

Faces of The Sickness

Joseph Tornatore reflects off camera after the carnage.
What is to be said for a dreary morning while on your last day of vacation? While the weather was a real downer, looking at myself in the bathroom mirror motivated my return to bed. I just couldn’t stand the ugly pimple rearing its greasy head on my face nor the twin teabags which seemed to hang under my raging bloodshot eyes. For heaven's sakes, my thoughts were that I looked like a hellboy made up for a horror movie.
About two hours of useless beauty sleep later, my cell phone rang. I received an urgent telephone call from the director of The Sickness. Although I had submitted my resume for this independent film about six months prior, I had not even been called in for an audition. The director sounded busy, his words short to the point. He inquired about my immediate availability. Although I was thinking ahead to my weekend plans, I wound up on location a stone’s throw from Delaware in little over an hour.
Let the record show that on the day I looked like I could scare Halloween, I was actually cast in a horror movie. The director greeted me by my car. As he explained the featured role I would be playing, I followed him past a creepy dilapidated barnyard with a silo. I heard human noises coming from the greenhouse where we were headed. Inside the greenhouse, I was introduced to the bloodied cast and crew, many of whom looked ragtag enough to have come from the set of The Crazies.
As stray cats jumped out of nowhere onto the gardening tables, the makeup girl added a white powder puff foundation to my beaten face. She then applied four latex open sores. After discussing cinematic realism, it was mutually agreed upon to leave my pimple alone. A network of blue veins got penciled on my long forehead. Faux membrane and dripping blood made me look like a walking epidemic.
As the last actor to arrive on set, I actually completed my scene before signing an appearance release. I performed a very violent act with minimal rehearsal. My face, body, and clothes were a bloodbath of membranes by the time I finished my carnage on the helpless victim.
This role represented the first time I had killed someone on camera. After the first take was over, I didn't know what to make of myself. I stumbled for feeling. I likened my acting to a seizure, a momentary lapse of reason, temporary insanity. The director complimented me on my burst of caged rage. Sometimes when you wake up looking the part, it is just a matter of following through with bloody action.


October 25, 2010

Impersonating A Rapist

The presence of slow rolling police cars cruising up and down the block did not deter me from committing the violent crime. My homie and I had a dirty job to do down a dark alley.
Playing a rapist in an independent short film called Minikin Capital Nights, the scariest part about this role may be that I fell into the seedy character of Paul quite easily. This successful crossover to the dark side bothered my psyche. As the high definition film captured a dimly lit street corner, I blocked a woman's egress along the sidewalk. I began harrassing her. I was surprised by the vulgarity of my words, my crotchety obscene gestures and the hateful tone in my voice. Then there was the prejudice the scene carried against an Asian race that had done me no harm in my lifetime. After a realistic take, I snapped out of character and ushered apology to the beautiful lead actress who I had just wronged on camera.
After four years of acting, this speaking part produced my personal favorite lines that I said in a movie, words that originated from my improvisation. Before my sidekick and I perpetrated a rape down a dark alley, I barked a derogative scenario to my intended victim, “How about two servings of white on rice?”
Cut. The director complimented me on my powerfully explicit ad lib then embraced it enough to write it into the script. I’m getting scared I thought to myself. I wanted to go home now. I became wary of the very character I played. I was Paul and appauled. This was definitely not me but then again that was the point.


Free Image Hosting at