An Empty Bucket List

In January 2010, I got a call from David McDonald, who was a film student at Simon Fraser University.  At the time, his graduating class was producing their final film project, and David wanted me to be in their film.  I was in his class’s first-year film project ‘Dead Air’ which was my first film credit on IMDb.  I explained that I was still recovering from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments and my voice was raspy, and I was coughing a lot.  David explained that the character I would be playing was the president of a large energy corporation that was polluting the planet and he would probably be coughing anyway.  So I agreed to do it, and I remember how excited it made me feel.  It was also the first time that I had smiled in many months.

The film was titled Empire City.  Here is a link to my performance clip:  Empire City – Danny

A year later, I received a call from David, asking if I would accept a role in a short film he was directing for a local film competition.  Each team was assigned a weapon (hammer), and they had to incorporate the following sentence ‘We don’t talk about the accident,’ in their respective scripts.  The film is a dark drama – I play a father who had killed his wife many years ago – and raised the children without their knowing how their mother had passed.

The film was titled, Father Christmas.  Here is a link to the film:  Father Christmas

David’s film got an award for the screenwriting.  One of many to follow!

And then a couple of years ago, David called again.  This time he was producing a music video, and he wanted me to be one of the patrons of a bordello – back in the days of Prohibition.  It’s an official video for a rapper by the name of Madchild, and it also features Matt Brevnor and Dutch Robinson.  I saw Dutch at an audition a few months ago, and we spoke about the project (he was the preacher).

Warning:  explicit language (lots of the ‘f’ word).

The video is titled Jitters by Madchild.  Here is a link to the video:  Jitters Madchild

The YouTube video has had over one million views! If you’ve been watching the previous video clips, you’ve probably noticed that a few of the actors are in each of David’s films.  In the bordello scene, David’s father is the actor smoking the cigar.


Which almost brings me to my Empty Bucket List story.  Almost.  But first, I want to share a few video clips from a television show that featured me and my cancer story.  It was a series of shows about people who were over 49 years of age.  The North of 49 TV Show aired on March 2010.  Here are the four short clips from the program:

Click this link for Part 1 of 4:  North of 49 – Part 1 of 4

Click this link for Part 2 of 4:  North of 49 – Part 2 of 4

Click this link for Part 3 of 4: North of 49 – Part 3 of 4

Click this link for Part 4 of 4:  North of 49 – Part 4 of 4

Today, was the first time that I’ve watched these video clips of that show in several years.  I’ve lost a lot of hair and weight since then and was able to do several short films, a couple of movies and a few commercials.  But cancer has continued destroying what’s left of my voice, and I’m not auditioning as much as I used to, so I’ve decided to get involved on the other side of the camera.  I now want to write, direct, and produce films.  But I’ll continue pursuing acting gigs – because I don’t believe in giving up on a dream – period.

A year ago, I decided to begin writing the screenplay, that has been hiding in my head for a few years.  It’s been a work in progress, but I’m hoping to finish the story in the next few months.  And then I plan to film a web series based on the story.  I plan to ask David McDonald and my former SFU film student friends to work on my first project, titled ‘The Hook ‘n Peg.’  The story includes romance, betrayal, mobsters, and of course, murder.  It’s a whodunit and the ending will be a shocker – and not for the faint of heart.

I shared the storyline with several actor friends.  My buddy Robert, and I will be producing it under ‘Empty Bucket List Productions.’  I based the company’s name on the fact that my bucket list is now empty because the last item on the list – ‘to live forever ‘ – was fulfilled in 2009, shortly after my stage 3 throat cancer treatments ended.

Watch these pages for an update on my Hook ‘n Peg project.

And never, ever stop chasing your dreams – despite any obstacles along the way.

Dedicated to my actor friends – break a leg!



Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

Don’t Let the Old Man In – lyrics 

Don’t let the old man in, I wanna leave this alone
Can’t leave it up to him, he’s knocking on my door
And I knew all of my life, that someday it would end
Get up and go outside, don’t let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body’s weathered and worn
Ask yourself how old you’d be
If you didn’t know the day you were born

Try to love on your wife
And stay close to your friends
Toast each sundown with wine
Don’t let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body’s weathered and worn
Ask yourself how old you’d be
If you didn’t know the day you were born

When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in

Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in

Songwriters: Toby Keith
Don’t Let the Old Man In lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.


An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor living in Vancouver, BC (as in almost pregnant). His other passions include: patient advocate (he had Stage 3 Throat Cancer) ; daily power walks at the Promenade in White Rock; and of course, spoiling his dog Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

11 thoughts on “An Empty Bucket List

  1. You constantly amaze me with your moving forward and positive attitude. You never seem to let anything get you down.

    I will when time permits view all these videos you have attached here and patiently wait for the movie.

    You truly are an inspiration to all.

    Love ya. ❤️❤️❤️❤️


    1. Eric, It was great hearing from you. I often think about our time as best friends in high school. And although I haven’t seen you in 50 years, I still consider you a ‘best friend forever!’ Hugs, Danny

  2. Amazing! I still remember these audition clips when you auditioned for Last Chance Casting 🙂
    Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. I look forward to hearing and seeing more! It’s going to be amazing!
    Hugs & more hugs!

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