Killers Ain't All Bad

Are you a Killer? It's not necessarily a bad thing to be one. We killers tend to be passionate about what we do. We are the ones they call on when something needs to be dealt with, like a spider. That happens a lot. It doesn't mean they're weak because they can't deal with it themselves, they just don't have that killer instinct.
1984 was a good year for me. I'm Dan Yeager; actor, writer, director, and entrepreneur. The Orwellian context was lost on me in my youth and inexperience, but it was a time for me when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I was a lifelong movie fanatic and had discovered movie-making as a real-life pursuit. I was tall, dirty blonde with blue eyes, so I was encouraged toward the lens side of the camera, but my heart was really in the eyepiece.
I was doing extra work on my first big-time Hollywood movie (with the likes of Christopher Lee, I might add) when I met an actor named Robert Quarry. Bob was best known as Count Yorga the Vampire, and he was very encouraging to me. He told me, “Just move to Hollywood. You'll make a living playing monsters.” I was still only 6'-4” tall back then, but he saw the potential. (I eventually hit 6'-6”.) But, the best thing he did for me was he gave me a sweatshirt that someone had given him. It was a plain red sweatshirt with the words, “Show Business is my life” in smallish black letters across the chest.
I grew out of the shirt, but I held onto it as a talisman. Always being reminded that it's all a part of show “business” I think helped me achieve what success I've had. I always avoided the distractions that seem to plague so many others as they pursued a career.
I explain all this because it was the Genesis of Killers' Choice Coffee. To be honest, it started as a joke. My wife is a tea devotee and has recently launched her brand of high-end tea, Fiddlesticks Tea Co. I suggested she also have a coffee offering, to which she responded, as only a Yorkshire Lass can, with an air of disgust and revulsion at the notion. I was offended. I said I was going to launch my own brand of coffee and give it my own special flair.
Coffee has seen me through some tough times. The business of making movies is tough and requires long hours of hard work. Every day and night shooting Texas Chainsaw 3D began with a large coffee with a triple shot or, eventually, a quadruple shot. A coffee with one shot of espresso is a Red-Eye; two shots make it a Black-Eye; three shots is a Dead-Eye. We just call the one with four shots a Leatherface. Coffee and cigars kept me going.
The movie business and all of show business run on coffee, like a lot of businesses. But show biz embraces the concept of being “a killer.” You're on stage and “you're killing it,” that's a good thing. You're up there hoping to “knock 'em dead.” In show business, it's good to be a killer.
You can also be a Lady-killer or Man-killer, though those terms have gone out of fashion. Stand-up Comedians are either killing or they're dying up there.
There are, of course, the more unfortunate associations with the term “Killer.” There are those who actually kill people, which is wrong, except in war, or if it's State sanctioned punishment for a crime. Everything I know about being a Marine I learned from the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” The Drill Sargent tells them, “God has a hard-on for Marines because we kill everything we see. He plays his games, we play ours. To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh souls.” Marines, I guess, are killers.
When I was a kid, if we thought something was good, we said it was “killer." There were killer cars, a killer guitar solo, killer pizza, killer anything really.

So, there you have it. Make what you can from it and get out there and knock 'em dead, Killer. If you need more coffee, I hope you'll try Killers' Choice.

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