John-Andrew O'Rourke

Director // Writer

John-Andrew O'Rourke

Director // Writer

Latest Posts

Shawn the Ex-Crip

A man's hands

Have you ever noticed that front desks at hotels are almost always an ungodly height? For a desk, at least. And only on the outside – the attendant’s side is usually pretty normal. You might think this is just an aesthetics or security thing (it’s much harder to jump over something tall), but I think the reason is much simpler: elbows. I rarely walk into a hotel in a state other than complete exhaustion, so I’ve always appreciated being able to prop up my arms and lean on the front desk as I hand over my credit card “for incidentals” and await my room key.

I struck this pose in December of 2018 on the second night of our stay at a Holiday Inn in Phoenix. It had been another long day, complete with hiking 1,300-foot Camelback Mountain on an empty stomach and then loading a van full of film equipment, so I was ready to get back to the room, eat dinner, and go to bed. That plan had been foiled when my key wouldn’t work, so there I was, patiently awaiting a new one.

The gentleman behind the desk checked my ID, scrolled through the guest list, and began programming a new card. As he went about his business, I scanned him languidly. The plain white tag on his mint green vest told me his name was Shawn. He was clean-shaven, wore thick-rimmed glasses, and sported a unique tattoo on the bridge between the thumb and index finger of his left hand. I looked more closely, but couldn’t quite make out the design.

“What is it?” I asked, gesturing.

“The three crosses at Calvary,” Shawn replied. “When I was 10 years old, I gave myself this tattoo because I knew that I would eventually get out of the gang life, and I didn’t want any gang marks on my body.”


Who Made Man’s Mouth?

The Prince of Egypt

My parents ruined movies for me.

You see, when I was a kid we didn’t have over-the-air TV, let alone cable. All we had was a VHS player and twenty or thirty pre-approved tapes I was permitted to watch on Sundays only. Nine kids later, my parents practically beg my siblings to turn on the TV every day at 5pm, but that’s a story for another time.

Suffice it to say, I got very familiar with the movies we did have. Toy Story. Snow White. Babe. It’s A Wonderful Life. The Lion King. I watched them over and over. The one thing they have in common? They’re all classics. I don’t think I saw a bad movie until I was 12 or 13. Pretty cool, right?



Which Part of Yourself Should You Be True To?

Buddy from the Incredibles wonders which part of himself to be true to

So. I told myself at the beginning of 2022 that I would update this blog every other week. And yet here it is, 1:10 on a Saturday morning with a post due in less than 7 hours, and I haven’t written anything.

Now, you might be thinking that I must have procrastinated. Two weeks have elapsed since the last post and I haven’t even begun the next? Textbook procrastination.

But honestly, that’s not it.

You see, I’ve been kicking butt since January 1st. Something about entering the calendar year where I’ll turn 30 made me realize that I need to put up or shut up. To go after the things I want to be, or decide that they’re never going to happen. To act, or admit I’m full of crap. And so far, I’ve been acting.

I’ve lost almost 10 pounds. I haven’t missed a day of Duolingo. I’ve been going to daily mass regularly. I’ve been on top of replying to texts and emails. I’ve made time for my friends, and I’ve gotten more work done in the last 3 weeks than any 3-week period in recent memory. In fact, I’ve gotten so much work done that I’m starting to run out of things to do.

So procrastination isn’t my problem. But if that’s not it…what is?


God Cares About Football

Andrew Luck dives into the end zone

The Colts were my world as a kid. I watched every game, read every article, cried when they lost, and cheered when they won. I was obsessed. Whenever there was a choice between spending time with my family and watching a Colts game, I would choose the game.

John-Andrew O'Rourke Director // Writer




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About the Author

Professional maker of videos, amateur writer of bios. All the lonely Starbucks lovers will tell you I’m insane.