Respect the Light Production Journal #4

Thanks for joining us on the fourth edition of The Respect the Light Production Journal. This entry is the second in a sub-series detailing what each character brings to the table in our show. This time, we’re looking at Rudy Wilson.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first moment I came across Rudy. He was standing by the door to RedBar and he might’ve been the most low-key person in the entire city of Miami in that moment. He had a backpack on and he looked me straight in my face and said “How much will you guys pay me if I let y’all record me?” … Great. A comedian. I responded with something humorless like “…we got nothing bro. can’t afford you.”

Co-directors Gerard Clarke and Greg Kerrick interviewed Rudy Wilson on our final day of filming Respect the Light.

Co-directors Gerard Clarke and Greg Kerrick interviewed Rudy Wilson on our final day of filming Respect the Light.

Honestly, he and I are both lucky he was joking because if it’s possible to bring a star-making turn to a documentary, Rudy comes pretty goddamn close. The presence that he commands is genuinely magnetic. Once we gravitated toward him, we discovered a truly compelling story of sacrifice and commitment paired with a tremendous amount of talent. 

Rudy brings a tenacity and self-awareness that can often feel absent in South Florida. He’d been in Miami for only six weeks when we met him but he spoke about the different communities and cultures of the city like a genuine local. He’s also the only non-Hispanic lead in the series, bringing a unique, but essential, side of the Miami experience to the series. He’s not Eddie. He’s not Kevin. He’s not Dave. He’s Rudy Wilson and he’s confident that his name is worthy of recognition.

As a storyteller, it was actually fairly easy to relate to stand-up comics, who are essentially storytellers themselves In Rudy’s case though, there was a clear commonality between us. As I write this, Rudy is prepping for his first major film project while in film school. I’m genuinely excited to see what he brings to the table on the other side of the camera.

In Episode III of Respect the Light, we followed Rudy Wilson to Rene’s Spot in Wynwood, and got some insight into what it’s like being a stand-up comic in a diverse city like Miami.

In Episode III of Respect the Light, we followed Rudy Wilson to Rene’s Spot in Wynwood, and got some insight into what it’s like being a stand-up comic in a diverse city like Miami.

Rudy’s story is one filled with risk, but Rudy would call it calculated risk. What’s your perspective on taking a chance on yourself? Let us know in the comments below.