“FAMILY are the STAKES in the FENCE, that KEEP you STANDING and SUPPORT you, even AFTER the STORM.” Cindy Daniel
For years now I’ve been contacted by media. I’m always surprised at their assumptions verses my reality. Many production companies as well as journalists think and assume that my role is simply to show up or that my clients are incredibly lonely when choosing to marry an inmate.
BOTH of these assumptions are WILDLY inaccurate, uneducated and opinionated. My role goes far and beyond bothering to “show up.”
Loving an inmate requires sacrifice. Often my clients have very little (if any) support while they do time on the outside.
Yes, I said “do time.” What do I mean by that? I mean that they are doing it all and doing it all alone while waiting on their inmate to parole.
As usual, and not surprisingly my desk is piling up with production company contracts I have no intention of signing. Why? They are all entirely one sided.
Why would I lock myself into ANYTHING and especially a contract that would prevent me from a lucrative opportunity that isn’t ENTIRELY one sided.
My clients all get contracts. These contracts are VERY specific regarding EXACTLY what my clients are hiring me to do AND exactly what I or my company is doing. Why? Because our contracts are conscionable that’s why.
This isn’t my first rodeo with media and one of my many roles is to protect my clients from ANY media seeking EITHER their names or the inmates names. Why? Because society judges people who love an inmate as much as the inmate themselves that’s why.
I never publish clients full names but couldn’t protect Mary Martin AKA Juror #10 because she volunteered for a 2 day “news” interview with Nacodches News that “outed” her publicly.
This “interview” and I use the term loosely was edited and frankenbited to 3-5 minutes remarkably similar to a sizzle reel then sold to over 100 other news outlets.
Miguel Martinez of I’m A Killer Episode 4 was quickly recognized on my social media pages BY his photo. He’s recognizable. Other than Mary and Miguel though you won’t find an inmates name. That’s intentional on my part.
I don’t research inmates. I walk in completely ignorant to their crimes INTENTIONALLY.
It’s not for me or anyone else to judge others. My clients call me for everything whether it’s simply to listen or offer insight.
Wednesday one of my clients called me to tell me “the OIG said if I travel to Texas that they will arrest me.”
This was alarming. Apparently a letter she had mailed to TDCJ Allred Unit “contained a suspicious substance.” I’m scheduled with 3 clients at Allred on September 8th and 3 at Clements on September 7th. The rest of the week is County and Federal. It’s a normal week for me.
I REGULARLY stack clients at the same Unit on the same day or stack several Units on the same day. Why? Time and travel.
I advised my Allred client not to travel from CA to TX for her wedding at Allred. An OIG investigation can take 6 months or longer.
She could be also removed from visitation pending and investigation. Responding to a visitation removal by filing an appeal must occur in 14 days. My concern over her possibly being arrested OR even denied entry due to a visitation revocation were troubling to say the least. First though she would need to wait to find out what that “suspicious substance” was.
If she was (in fact) facing arrest or denial of entry, I prefer she stay in California and said so.
I know my clients fairly intimately well after months of talking, texting and emailing during the planning process, I also knew darn well that this particular client would have never mailed contraband but the possibility of her envelope coming on contact with another envelope containing contraband did exist. It would be days before further information came forward.
Days of her worrying and fearful regarding traveling here. A week away from a wedding she had planned for months.
Thursday she had decided to come anyway after being told that she would be questioned but by Friday on my way to TDCJ Smith Unit in Lamesa where Deb had been rescheduled and was still upset about it as was I, my Allred bride had decided not to come to Texas. I strongly agreed that this was the best choice for her.
By late Friday the “suspicious substance” was found to be water as my bride does not lick her envelopes.
All of this over WATER? Yes. Welcome to the world of loving an inmate. Paying for expensive phone calls. Driving hours to a Unit. Standing in line for shakedown. Being watched every second during visitation. AND being suspected of something you haven’t done.
Anyone who believes it’s visitors bringing on contraband without recognizing that often it’s the employees is ignorant of the facts. Employees have access and entry and are the main reason contraband in prisons continues to be an issue.
One of my Ferguson clients licked her envelope. The problem? She’s on anxiety medication.
I’m going to go over this again for all of my clients in all of our service area states…DO NOT lick envelopes. You could have alcohol residue from mouthwash or medication on your tongue. Wash your arms up to your elbows prior to writing a letter. Do not use hand sanitizer AFTER washing your hands. Keep paper and envelopes in a secure area. Don’t allow air freshener or anything else to come into contact with your paper, pen or pencil. Contact me if you have questions regarding what is allowed and more importantly WHAT ISN’T!
Saturday morning while on site at a Vow Renewal for a couple I married years ago at TDCJ Stiles Unit in Arkansas, I noticed two missed calls. My Allred bride answered as soon as I walked off to call her back. “They found that it was water but I already cancelled all my travel and I don’t want to marry at that Unit now. I feel uncomfortable and fearful.”
Because the Allred grooms mother lives in Houston and is in bad health, I sent her information to obtain a hardship transfer. I will either marry them after parole or at another Unit.
Meanwhile driving to Lamesa and wondering how anyone lives in the country, one of my Coffield Unit clients called to “stack onto September 16 at Coffield. I advised her “I can’t because I have 3 confirmed on the 16th and Coffield only allows me 3 clients on the same day.” Amber then told me why she wanted September so badly. “He’s paroling in October and we really want to be married before he paroles.” I then promised that “if that happened and since TDCJ is releasing from Units rather than Huntsville post pandemic that I would travel to Tennessee Colony and marry them at the outside of the church.” I use that church frequently for bridal and groom photo shoots but dang it’s gotten run down during this pandemic. Nonetheless I was committed to getting them married as I have been throughout this pandemic. Hell, I’ve even married couples in parking lots and at my own home the past year and a half. Talk about “winging it!”
Things changed for two of my Coffield clients last night that will involve a scheduling flip flop.
Laviolet (confirmed on Sept 16th) called to tell me “he isn’t acting like this is a big deal. I’ve been trying to get married for 2 years now. His baby momma dumped him when he was arrested. I been putting money on his books and paying for phone calls and just last weekend waited 2 almost 3 hours to visit him after driving there. Miss Wendy I don’t think I want to get married on the 16th.”
I immediately suggested moving to October 12th and THEN sent a text to Amber. The Laviolet cancellation created a window to move Amber from October 12th to September 16th and Laviolet from September 16th to October 12th.
I’m at Coffield with 2 and confirmed on the 12th so moving Laviolet served 2 purposes. One it made an opening for Amber and two, it gave Laviolet time to reconsider.
Frankly, I have 17 clients at Coffield so being limited to 3 clients two days a month is causing issues because a Texas marriage license is only valid 90 days.
I’m also at Polunsky late on October 12th and Huntsville the afternoon. I’m at Coffield at 8AM on the same day. October 12th is going to be a timeline of everything going as planned. I will also be on the road easily 12-14 hours October 12th.
Coffield is always running behind on testing. THANKFULLY Coffield schedules EARLY. Meaning I can bounce out of there to other Units. Polunsky schedules after 5PM because they are a death row unit.
My Hughes client wanted the 12th but Hughes is in Gatesville and I was already committed to Coffield, Huntsville and Polunsky. We moved her to the 14th. The distance from Gatesville to Polunsky is nearly 4 hours. The distance from Huntsville to Polunsky is under an hour.
I don’t do Polunsky on days where I’m anywhere BUT Tennessee Colony and Huntsville Units.
Knowing the distance from one Unit to the next surprised the hell out of one journalist traveled with Cindy and I three years ago. Why? Because I had stacked clients AND stacked Units. How many? 4 Units in the SAME DAY.
I’m a timeline lunatic. I have to be. I never over schedule. I can’t afford to take risks. Too many people rely on me.
Moving forward, another client called “concerned she wasn’t the only client at Allred this Wednesday.” I’m going to go over the importance of reading your 5 page contracts. Page 2 addresses “exclusivity” and the fee of reserving me solely for your wedding day.
I’ve been in this industry 10 years. I often marry 2-5 couples in the same day. If you want me to only marry you, there’s a significant fee on your EXISTING contract for the “privilege” of taking up an entire day of my time. That fee is going up to $1k in October on ALL future contracts.
Time AND travel are my largest expenses. I can’t buy more time.
Arriving in Lamesa Friday at about noon. I call Deb to find out where she is. This town is tricky for finding great photo locations. She’s on the main road and I tell her to meet me at McDonalds because 1. We have time for lunch before her photo shoot and 2. I’m hungry.
She finds me and I tell her “I don’t go to restaurants in small towns where no one else is. There’s a steakhouse with plenty of cars in the parking lot. Let’s go there.” We did. I ask our waitress “if there’s a beautiful park nearby?” She suggests one and Deb and I both see beautiful photo’s on the internet. We drive there and I don’t know where those photo’s came from but it wasn’t that park. We take two photos and I suggest “driving around to find other locations.” She follows me.
We wind up by the courthouse. Most of the businesses are closed but there are unique buildings and armed officers surrounding the courthouse behind me. This is odd. I’ve never seen anything like that. I tell Deb as she parks beside me “something is going on. Ignore them. There’s nothing in this town that will provide a better backdrop than this square.” We were both REALLY concerned when 3 police cars with lights blazing drove by at about 80-90mph in that sleepy little town. But- I continued changing inventory out of my open suv trunk and ignored the high speed chase and the armed officers behind us at every point of that courthouse.
Leaving the square we traveled caravan style to TDCJ Smith Unit. I asked the CO “what’s going on in town? There are armed officers surrounding the courthouse.” He said “many of our employees are there. The inmates chained to be added additional lengths to their sentences for major cases.”
I had always assumed cases were internal with TDCJ and was surprised to learn that they aren’t.
We prescreened and entered what I thought would be the contact area. It was in a way but not an area I had been in before. In an enclosed area there was a 4 foot wide metal barrier. My clients wouldn’t be able to stand together or kiss. I assumed it was a room for attorney visits and I’m most likely right. I kept sliding off my circular steel seat mounted to the floor.
We visited for a few minutes. I asked about the grooms tattoos and he was happy to tell me about them. He was a tattoo artist in the free world. Deb was the receptionist at his business. They were a happy and well connected couple and I enjoyed the 20-30 minutes of visiting along with the ceremony.
Leaving the Unit, I advised Deb that I would file her license by priority mail in Weatherford on my way back to Parker County. We hugged and had a great day together.
I check my phone when I have a signal again and see that Beaumont Low has called me regarding a client I’m marrying in Federal custody but my call keeps dropping. Damn AT&T. Monday is a holiday and I’ve already mailed my background information sheet, credentials and DL to the Unit. But I’d really like to return the call and can’t because I’m literally in the boonies and speed traps are everywhere in remote Texas towns.
I haven’t had a speeding ticket in 30 years BECAUSE I’m aware of speed traps and because I never speed.
A production executive who had sent me a contract I glanced at AND then sent to my entertainment attorney along with all of the other ones. Cindy and I get a load of laughs at some of these “contracts.”
I wonder how is it that her text going through but my call back to Beaumont Low won’t? Damnit. I can get and send texts but I can’t call Beaumont Low or CI Flightline back. The IRONY of unimportant to me calls coming through and my inability to MAKE an IMPORTANT call out aren’t lost on me. I wouldn’t live in the country if you paid me. Ugh. I need cell service! AT&T you suck AND you’re expensive damn you.
Since Siri is acting stupid again trying to respond to her, I try calling her back instead. She wants me to sign her contract.
I’ve got a lot of production people who WANT me to sign their contract. Why? What’s in it for me other than you folks trying to tie me down? Put me in a box? No thanks.
Listen- MEDIA NEEDS ME. I don’t NEED MEDIA. I damn sure don’t want anyone having power, custody of control over what I do and who I do it with that ISN’T PAYING ME FOR THE PRIVILEGE! Keep your glitter. You won’t find another Wendy Wortham and especially a TwinTeam like Cindy and I.
Years and years ago, we had a production assistant (I’m guessing in her 20’s as most of them are with the unique combination of being young and dumb at the SAME time) called from Beverly Hills to tell me “show us your big personalities.” I had no idea what in the Sam Hill Hell she was talking about AND we had never used Skype. Other than that stupid open ended instruction, she provided NO other information.
Needless to say, the production assistant for Discovery and the Skype call were disastrous.
Cindy and I literally had to ask her daughter, Leigh Ann how to even download and set up Skype. We didn’t know what Skype was.
If you are a production assistant, do folks a favor and your boss AND provide details!
My call kept dropping. We finally stopped trying to call them back. Eff it.
You’re welcome Sandy, our cluster call with Discovery was why and how your show although short lived made it on the air.
The call to the production company executive who wants me to sign a contract that “allows me” film the movie, Unforgiven with Elena Lindemans in September and October call dropped. I didn’t bother trying to call her back.
Nobody and I mean nobodies going to interfere with a movie I committed to with Elena. She and I have no contract and no payment terms regarding this movie. Shocked? Oh don’t be. We met in person on November 13, 2019. I’ve never been so impressed with anyone in my life as I was meeting Elena. She HAD learned English in order to talk to me.
There’s a back story. She had initially called me while visiting the states to get background on her movie. We couldn’t understand each other when she first called me. She’s Dutch.
Secondly, she flew to Houston, Texas FROM THE NETHERLANDS after a year of emailing back and forth to meet Cindy and I to discuss this movie IN PERSON.
I’m HARD to impress. Know it. Over the years I’ve also so many lazy ass “production executives” contacting ME to cast their talent IT would shock you. IT SHOCKS ME.
Pay me don’t play me. I get paid to consult. If you want me to cast, pay me. I don’t give a shit who you are with or what you’ve done or how important you THINK you are. You ARE NOT important to me.
You called ME remember? You called me because you couldn’t find your own talent. You called me to do your job for you. Eff off.
Obviously I can’t text a State, Federal or ICE facility so I can’t call Beaumont Low until Tuesday on my way to TDCJ Clements since Monday is a holiday. I’m still organizing the next week of my life and hauling ass to Parker County four hours away.
I silently curse about my shoddy cell signal all of the time BECAUSE my AT&T sucks near and beyond Wichita Falls. Allred is in Iowa Park. Roach is in Childress.
Clements is in Amarillo. I’m leaving at 4AM. I will be on the other side of Wichita Falls by the time I can try to call Beaumont Low back. Damnit. I know I’m going to have issues calling CI Flightline and Beaumont Low AS WELL as Coffield for the flips 09-16 and 10-12 on Tuesday from Amarillo and Wednesday from Iowa Park.
Hell it could be Thursday before I can even contact all 3 Units. Blast it!
Why Elena? Well unlike everyone else contacting me with a stupid line like “tell me about your business,” Elena had taken the time to READ my blogs AND understand my businesses. She wasn’t so lazy that she EXPECTED me to explain my diverse, unique and wildly successful business to her at HER convenience. Instead, she did her research. How refreshing in a world full of entitled idiots too lazy to perform their actual job functions “working in the entertainment industry.”
Most “media people” who bother to drop a dime on me at THEIR convenience don’t BOTHER to research me. I’m sick and tired and these people busting in on my slammed ass busy days to educate THEM. Educate yourself. I have 5 websites. 5 blogs. Twitter, Instagram, FB, Pinterest and damn near every other social media profile. Ask me I run em all and go like, share and comment on followers posts all of the time. Social media is work and time consuming.
I’m blunt, I’m transparent, I’m raw and I’m REAL. If my salty language surprises you- get over yourself. I walk into prisons buddy. Wake up.
I’m the mother of all of my clients. I’m their support system. I’m their “go to.” I’m the fixer. The problem solver. The scheduler. The check writer AND everything in between.
What I’m NOT is anyone’s patsy. Keep making your fake reality shows. I’m not interested. There’s enough fake shit in the world already.
Don’t expect me to do YOUR job for YOU either. I had one smart ass “executive” waste my time a few years ago. This jackass even sent me a contract he didn’t bother to sign. Do you know why? Because he thought I was a hillbilly that was going to do his job for him.
This same dumb ass “entertainment executive” also threatened to sue me when I wrote a blog exposing his stupidity and blatant dishonesty. I laughed. Then I advised him “in order to sue someone for defamation, you are required to prove defamation occurred. Remember that contract? Those text messages? Your broken promises? I do. I also have all of the documentation and recordings of your phone calls. Sue me. I will countersue for malicious prosecution and I will win.” I never heard from that dumb ass again. Stupid people always make stupid threats. Lord if I never encounter such an outrageous idiot as that guy was again it will be a RELIEF!
Media people for your own sake, stop lying to people to get what you want from them. I’m intelligent and know a snake oil salesmen when I encounter one. Do your job and don’t expect me to do it for you. Don’t expect me to sign a contract that does nothing for me and everything for you either. I’m FREE to do what I want when I want and for who I want. You aren’t going to find another me because there isn’t one.
Hoping everyone has a safe holiday weekend and I will be back in Fort Worth late Monday to leave early Tuesday for Clements.