How Mark Jabez Whittaker got to meet Will Smith – against all odds
So as per the usual, I flick on the ol’ Facebook to hurrily get to my all important inbox, when on the way I see one of these “READ TILL THE END OR DIE” things. I was about skip past, as I usually do, but something told me, “read it till the end”. It was worth the read! Mark’s late-night adventure is a great reminder that your “Why” should always be bigger than your “How”.
“I told my daughters I wasn’t coming back that night without achieving my goal”
I heard WILL SMITH was in town, Brixton, where I spent my early life, up to teenage years.
[It] was my daughters who informed me that WILL SMITH was in London. My mind started to work overtime – nothing new. My thought process was this. “I’m writing a TV series at the moment, that I want to act in, so what if I give the script to WILL SMITH?”. So without wasting anymore time, I put on my clothes, bearing in mind my deodorant was now working overtime with my sudden burst of energy.
My daughters were like, “What you doing dad?”, I then told them, “I’m going to find Will Smith and give him my second draft of my TV script”. My daughters do not doubt me so they both handed me pens and note pads to get it signed on this mission I have no idea of how I will achieve it, but check this. Positivity kicked in and I just told myself “The HOW has got nothing to do with you Mark, you just need to take a leap of faith and the HOW will present itself”.
I kissed my daughters and my wife and I was off on my mission within minutes. This was Thursday just gone 7th March 2013 at about 19:00.
Journey Part 1
I had to have the belief that I would achieve my goal, which I have explained above.
Journey Part 2
My printer ink has run out so I went to internet café and spent £10 printing off [my script] with other bits of information for WILL SMITH to read and placed it in a nice expensive folder that I had from long time that I was WILLing to give away. From what we see, Will seems like he will give me the time of day, so more is better than less.
All done, printed it off and I was off.
Journey Part 3
Jumped in the car and got on the phone and started phoning anyone I knew who might know a celebrity or anything. Phoned a few other friends and let them know I wanted to find WILL SMITH. They were not surprised, they know how I roll.
I realised I [forgot] something, OH NO!!! My toothbrush, because I told my daughters I am not coming home without achieving my goal. I drove on anyway. Friends were making calls and were gonna get back to me. The drive to west end continues. He must be in a plush hotel, let me go to them ALL.
Journey Part 4
Got to the Dorchester and scammed a few more. Nothing!! What next. Where is the HOW when you need it.. Then a phone call. I’m standing in the cold at this time, raining and wet hoping a paparazzi might be around with the HOW. I answered the phone and I got a HOW. Go to the O2 arena as his son Jaden Smith is open for Jusitn Beider. OK, I’m off.
Jumped back in the car and began thinking HOW am I going to get in the O2. Nevermind, “the HOW has nothing to do with you MARK JABEZ WHITTAKER, stop worrying about the HOW and head to the bloody O2”, that’s my other self telling me what to think. So I’m off to [the] O2.
Journey Part 5
I reach the O2, can’t find my wallet, still can’t find my wallet, and the parking is saying like £28, what the flip. I rolled up to the barriers and:
“Hi there m8, you might think I’m mad, but I have a script here and I want to give it to WILL SMITH, not sure how you can assist my brother”
The guy say’s “Go right through and use this ticket on the way out”. Wow, I’m getting favour already, free parking.
The HOW shows up again. I park up and just start running, constantly remembering what I told my daughters. I see a lady walking, I’m now walking fast behind her. I’m thinking, “hope she doesn’t think this big black guy is coming for her bag, let me break the ice”.
MARK: Do you know where the O2 arena is exactly love?
Lady: Yeah, I’m going to collect my daughter, it’ this way.
Lovely lady, but she must think I’m running to see Justine Beiber, even scarier so:
MARK: I’m here to find WILL SMITH and hand him my script.
She laughs. Not a laugh of doubt, a laugh of admiration. Lovely lady. We walked and spoke and she loved my passion and encouraged me that I will be guided. She pointed me to the entrance and:
Lady: You can’t get past there though
Mark: Who me?
She laughs again and we both part ways. She waves and is left feeling inspired.
I get to the guards at the big entrance doors and I ask them where is WILL SMITH hanging out so I can drop my script on him. They were cool, but doubtful. Nevertheless, I need a HOW before I can move from here so the guy said there was another entrance and some guys there may be able to help.
So I went there and got a HOW, which came in the form of a brain wave. The brain wave was, “Where do these guys park up?”. I started climbing fences and looking over gates to see if I could see money hanging about, you know what I mean, cars, beautiful LOOKING people, SAS guards, but nothing.
Then a HOW turned up, a PARKING ASSISTANT LADY and wandered why I was acting like a weird black guy with an ipad and folder in my hand in the car park. So I told here the WILLing WILL SMITH STORY. She was feeling me, she loved the energy and was like:
“The A list Celebs rarely drive, they come in on via BOAT at the O2 pier, it’s round the back there, you can go down there.” The HOW always comes.
Journey Part 6
I’m at the Pier now. I’m looking into the river. It’s cold and rainy and the show is still going on. I asked the man about WILL and he said “yep” he came in this way at about 4pm and hasn’t come back. He said I could wait around. I waited till 12:15am.
The show was finished, lights were being switched off and the Pier was just about to shut for the night. It was cold, wet, lonely, and by this time and my friends on the phone were getting tired. What the flip can I do now. I can’t move on until I get a HOW. I just waited and waited until: The guy locking the gates, which would confirm WILL had probably taken a car back, well, he came along with the HOW. He said.
GATEMAN: The SAS bodyguard informed us that WILL SMITH was coming from a hotel that began with an “S”
MARK: The SAVOY?
GATEMAN: The SAVAOY, that’s it definitely.
So I got a HOW and I was off, back into my car heading to the SAVOY now. I didn’t find Will Smith, but I got my HOW, so I’m gonna follow that.
Journey Part 7
Savoy Hotel 01:30am
I parked my car up around a back street cos my car would not look right outside that hotel and I ran across the road.
I was really dressed liked I came straight out of Brixton streets, so I wasn’t comfortable seeing all these beautiful people walking in and out.
There was a ledge outside, I sat on in and met a man who had his own agenda. My mind starting to think “Who is this man dressed so sharp, but yet still sat out here?”. So, I broke ice.
MARK: You been here long?
SHARPMAN: Yeah, quite some time. (Scratching his head)
MARK: I’ve come here to give Will my screenplay, I heard he is here”
SHARPMAN: He is, I was just sat next to him and Russel Brand!
Oh my dayz!!!!!!! I think I might have found him now. How am I going to get in there and then:
SHARPMAN: You can’t get in there though, I just got chucked out because I’m not staying there. You should just put it in an envelope and post it there – he WILL get it if you post it there
MARK: I hear that (I WAS NOT hearing none of that).
We have to be able to know the difference between a HOW and a DISTRACTION. He got kicked out and wasn’t allowed back in, SO WHAT!!! That’s his reality and it doesn’t have to be mine. So I’m listening but not listening.
How the flip am I gonna get in this place. Some other dude comes over talking about WILL SMITH telling me how he’s a paparazzi and he also got chucked out. This is not what I want to hear, frustrating me now. So I remove myself from these distractions.
I got the HOW that he’s in there, but let me not make what was meant for good end up working for my bad. I got up and just walked in.
I’m telling myself this while I’m walking so my body language matches up when people see me:
“I’m a King, I have dominion over this Hotel, I own this Hotel, who dear address me, The King without being summoned into my courters., I’m a King, I’m a King”
I CONTINUE IN, looking all official. If anyone comes and starts talking rubbish, all I’m gonna say [is]:
“I’m here with a script to give to WiLL SMITH and he’s taking his time”
So I sit down , flicking through my script, well that’s what it appeared I was doing. I was really looking about for WILL SMITH.
Then some ladies come out and I happen to be getting in the way of their photograph, so I offered to move. They were appreciative and we then got into a conversation. I told them the WILL STORY and they were so inspired. I was really hoping they didn’t think I smelled, cos the deodorant had really run out guys, it was late.
We are talking and then they said:
LADIES: He was in our charity event that we just had going on, for young childremn, you could have given it to him then. But you are really inspiring.
She then turned to her left AND THEN:
OHHHH MYYYYY DAYZZZZ!!!! It’s him. I head for him too, that’s my family right there.
MARK: WILL….WILLL I got a script that I want you to read, I’ve wrote it so I can act in it because I want to ACT – I really want to ACT. I’m putting in the work – I’m writing, I’m not just looking for a free ride without putting in the work. It’s a good story, can you take it.
WILL SMITH: Yo dude, I can’t legally take this script off you man, but if you send it to my production company OVERBROOK entertainment, they WILL get it to me.
I DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR THAT. I was waiting for him to say “Just kidding” fresh prince style.
MARK: I’ve been travelling all night, I heard you were in Brixton today – I told my daughters I would give the script to you – it’s a great story, you could produce it over here – your first production over here in the UK.
WILL SMITH: As I said dude, I can’t legally take this screenplay from you, but ok, listen. Scoty over here will take care of this for me and make sure your script gets to me correctly.
A man named SCOTY SARDINHA with dreads – cool dude, seem very honest – so I have no doubt he will do what he says..
WILL SMITH: Cos I can’t take it off you legally, he will.
MARK: Ahhhh thanks man, I’m so happy, can I get a photo?
WILL SMITH: It’s 2am in the morning, dude, but that’s cool, you can get a picture, what’s your name?
MARK: MARK JABEZ WHITTAKER, like Forest Whittaker, I just want to act, I’ve left my job as a stock market trader to just do what I love, – which is to act, create, and be involve in filmmaking.
WILL SMITH: Well Scoty will give you a card and take this stuff off your hands and I will get back at ya MARK
MARK: Thanks for your time man
WILL SMITH: No problem.
I then went home and went to bed at 3am. Daughters woke up and were looking for autographs, but were happy with a photo of WILL SMITH and their dad and I said [to] them,
“Let that be a lesson that if you want something just remember that anything you want in life is attainable if you believe and persist towards it and never worry about the HOW, it WILL show up at the right time”
I’m still waiting to here back from him. I know WILL, lool, he will not let me down and he WILL like my script. In any event, WILL will provide me with a HOW and the journey WILL continue. Will gave me the time of day everyone and that’s what counts – he lived up to my expectations.
Why the ‘How’ is not your problem
The HOW will work itself out if you go forward with faith. You have to move first though. If I don’t get anything out of that mission, I hope my journey inspires others to reach for the stars and stop at nothing.
Stay blessed everyone and if anyone knows Scoty Sardinha or Will Smith, let them know about my journey to them. For now I am going to let go and let God. I took control of everything I could take control of. I can’t control if he gets back to me or reads my script.
– Mark Jabez Whittaker, the actor guy with a big dream