Making Real Life Isn't Easy
Rick Kirkham was born in Oklahoma City in 1958, into what seemed to be the perfect family. In fact, life was good right up until Rick’s dad went to do three tours in Vietnam. As a result, his mother fell into a deep depression and turned to Valium for relief. This situation put a strain on the family and it was eventually torn apart.
At the age of 14, Rick was given a video camera for his birthday. This camera became his best friend.
When he turned 16, Rick became a dancer on American Bandstand. It was there that he met Dick Clark who encouraged him to pursue a career in television. In so doing, Rick began his journey into the world of television. At 27, Rick was hired to be a crime reporter at KVBC, Las Vegas. This move opened the door for many more similar opportunities. Soon Rick was on the road over 300 days a year, traveling all over the world. It was then that he decided to record a video diary. His diary consisted of over 3000 hours of footage, but Rick never watched any of it.
When he found out that his girlfriend back home was pregnant, Rick decided to make a few life changes and marry her. Everything seemed wonderful on the surface but it wasn’t. Rick’s life had a dark side that his camera dutifully captured— an addiction to cocaine that was out to destroy him. Rick describes it as having ‘a second life’; you can’t really believe that it’s happening, but it is. He wondered how something could be so euphoric and good and so terrible at the same time. As he records his life slipping through his fingers, Rick meditates on the choices he made and what he should have done differently.
What is disclosed in this film is a riveting journey into the depths of darkness, where one man’s struggle for survival is caught on tape in an authentic and extraordinary manner. Rick bares his soul to his camera and talks to it as if it was his therapist, and in a sense, maybe it was. Rick removes the mask and reveals himself in all honesty and openness. This thought-provoking film goes way beyond one man’s tragic story and turns into a disturbing reflection of all of us: a generation that is obsessed with technology and celebrity along with all that is implied by that status. Watch this now.