I met John Doby right as I was beginning to put together the first season of “The Rise of King Asilas.” He had answered an ad I placed looking for voice actors. I asked him a lot of questions. Not because I was oblivious to the acting world, but because I wanted to find the perfect role for him to play on the show. As we talked, it became clear his natural personality could fit “Quintin Capone,” the king’s best friend and confidant. Later on, John and I became friends in real life. We often talked on the phone because he lived in New Jersey and I live in Baltimore. In time, we came up with the idea that he could put his filmmaking skills to good use by filming a short movie based on the audio drama. It was John who actually gave me the idea that I could make a short movie, and this basically changed my life.
My wife and I made a trip to New Jersey a couple of years ago. John and I had collaborated on a short script titled “The Ordo” and we would spend a few days filming it in Keyport. It’s a neat little town and my wife and I took a few extra days to go just up the road to NYC. It was great to spend some time with John (and Lynn Spencer). I felt we bonded a little more and we became better friends as a result. But the film “The Ordo” never actually made it to the final edit stage. John was working on, as he put it, “his life’s work.” He had been putting together a feature film titled “Again.” It’s a sci-fi thriller about a man who brings his dead daughter back to life. The project was years in the making and remains unfinished.
I believe John rather enjoyed playing the role of Quintin Capone because it allowed him to indulge in his crazy fantasies of power and excess. In that regard, John and I found many commonalities. We both had fun portraying the characters we played on the show, and were both amused by people who took the story way too seriously. Sometimes people went after us on Twitter and Reddit, criticizing us–as if we really were like the characters we played. We were two peas in a pod when it came to those who took the storyline of the show a little too far. In the end, I can honestly say there are many things we agreed on and things we didn’t agree on. But where we thought differently, we found reason to pause.
When I heard the news of John Doby’s passing, I was in total shock. My first reaction was to call Steve Fisher (Lord Jeremy Oreb). We both sat on the phone, struggling to process the news. It was a sobering moment for us both: realizing our own mortality, reliving the fun moments in the show, thinking about the years ahead. We both agreed we should never take a day for granted and promised we would speak more often. You never know when someone is snatched from your life. I never got a chance to say good bye to my friend, John. I just took it for granted that I would call him when I finished writing the scripts. But I didn’t get to.
My last communications with John was a text message. I was trying to get him to sign on to our Patreon so he could see my first short movie. I knew he had been busy filming his own movie. I knew this because I saw his postings on Facebook. He texted me back. His final words to me were “Awesome. Congrats! I’ll check it out.” But he wouldn’t get that chance. He was dead two days later.
If I could say one final thing to John, I would say, “I love you, brother.” But something inside me says he knew this. He knew this because whenever he needed a favor, whenever he was feelings down, whenever he was lost in his chaotic life, he would call me. I would be there for him. He knew he could count on me. He knew I was a true friend who never judged him, who never criticized him for his faults or flaws. I accepted him as he was. And I pray God will accept him in Heaven. “Goodbye, my brother. Until we meet again on the other side.”