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I know a lot of people watch and follow TED Conferences, Videos and Talks. This particular video is one that I thoroughly enjoy because I meet so many people who focus on the negative elements in life (not saying they are negative, just saying that negative elements are what may drive them to react or think about at times). Sean Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., researches and teaches Positive Psychology. In this 12 minute video he talks about social and personal topics that are critical to every person and/or business owner AND he is a fantastic presenter. Please watch the entire 12 minutes. I can assure you it's worth it.
In 2006 I was hosting a television show in Indianapolis called Doing Indy. This show allowed me to go all around Indianapolis and show off the cool things the city had to offer. I met a lot of celebrities and got to do some pretty cool things during my three-year run as the show's host, creator and executive producer. However, there is one memory that sticks out in my mind more than any of the other experiences and that was when I had the chance to rap with Public Enemy's very own Flavor Flav.Flav was in town for Indiana Black Expo and I had been a fan of Flav's and Public Enemy for many, many years. I knew I had one shot at this so I asked his management team if I could get an interview. While asking about getting the interview I also told them about the show and how it was a fun and silly look at what's going on in Indianapolis. Once I shared that with them I asked if Flav would be up for rapping with me. His management team said, very emphatically too I might add, YES! They went onto say, "Flav loves to do that sort of thing." So I interviewed Flav and then proceeded to rap with him. Here's the video of me rapping with Flav back in 2006. Please don't ask me what was growing on my chin at the time. I am still amazed at my many, varied and questionable facial hair decisions. The one thing I think that needs to be said here is regarding how I got to do this with Flav. I don't have an elaborate answer... I just asked. Never be afraid to ask a question about being able to do something cool, fun, exciting, challenging or important because sometimes the answer is an emphatic YES! Bring tha Noise! SH
I was selected to be part of a monthly art exhibit that is part of the Open Show series throughout the country and the world. I think it's a pretty nice "tip of the cap" to be selected for this. Anytime someone is recognized for their work or project is a nice acknowledgement of the work that is being created. Most of the people selected are photographers but there are others like documentary filmmakers, multimedia creators, mixed-media artists, etc. It's an honor and privilege to be a part of this show/exhibit. This show in late March was held at the Venice Arts Center.
The exhibit features 4 artists and we each get to present our projects, show our work and talk with people attending the exhibit. For some reason, I was first (alphabetically) and got to get up and make my presentation on my photography and video work for the documentary "Leftovers." I think this may be the first time I have ever been selected first from an alphabetic perspective but I have no issue being in front of people and was able to get up, introduce my project, show the trailer and the display the photos from the project while talking about the film and life changing experiences this processed has provided me over the last 16 months.
I was surprised at the reception this documentary received during my presentation but since a film like this has never been made before I think a lot of people in attendance can relate to what is happening to our seniors and the journey I had taken to make this film. I was asked several questions from several different people and was genuinely surprised at the overall interest in this project. Some of the questions asked were personal about my experiences but several people asked about a "solution" to the problem. What's interesting about that is that the film does provide a solution but seeking a solution was something we weren't initially looking for in the initial outline/storyboard of the project. However, after traveling to a number of places and hearing people talk about solutions (but never really offering solutions) I knew we had to get extra money to travel and find the solutions. I am so thankful to Meals on Wheels Association of America for giving an additional $30k so we could travel to Austin, TX and Detroit, MI to talk about and showcase some solutions.
The rest of the night went well and I got to watch and listen to the other featured artists that night. One of the fellow presenters is my friend, Patty Lemke, who is working on a lifelong photography project of balloons. And, another exhibitor, Bret Van Ort, talked about his photography/documentary project about Land Mines in Bosnia. Here' s a link to Brett's work "Minescape" (http://www.brettvanort.com) - which I found quite fascinating. If there is an opportunity to get involved or be selected by Open Show in your respective city then please do so. Hopefully your work will be selected and you can share your passion and projects with the community.
I have some really cool news to share... There's a great group of artists in LA who, once a month, find a very select group of people (4 to be exact) to feature. And, yours truly was just selected because of my photography and videography work on the documentary "Leftovers." This is a great honor and privilege to be selected and featured as part of this great group of people. This project/documentary has been a labor of love for more than a year now and I cannot wait for the film to come out this summer. The distributor is chomping at the bits to see this finished product and so are the PR people. The edit is coming along nicely and this will be an amazing story that the American public has never seen before. It's going to be great and unique. If you want to come out and here about my documentary and adventures over the last 15 months then please do so on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:30pm in Venice, CA. I would love to see you there. I am posting the link to OPEN SHOW LA so you can see the address and details of the event and some of the other great artists attending/presenting. This is really a great honor and something with which I am flattered to be involved. The long days, weeks and months are paying off and it's nice to be recognized for the work I have been doing. But, more importantly, it's incredible recognition for a growing problem in America that can and will affect all of us as we get older. The good new is that we can change or affect this growing statistic but we have to get the word out about our seniors. The more we can bring light to this subject the more awareness and dialogue we can create to find solution. Hopefully, I will see you out in Venice on Wednesday so please stop by and say HI! http://openshow.org/losangeles/
While the transition to living and working in LA is a slow process, I decided to open myself up to more work opportunities and contacted some old friends back in Indy to let them know I am available for bookings. Since it is taking some time to get established here in LA my confidence and ego were taking a beating so I needed something to get me shooting and working again. Well, I am so thankful for the people in Indy because when I posted a message that I was coming back in town for two weeks and am available for Senior and Family Portraits I was immediately booked. Not only was I booked but I was FULLY booked all 10 slots have been filled and people are paying the deposits.I am so excited to see old friends and make some new ones with the people who have booked me as their photographer and to start working again. It will be a crazy, chaotic 2.5 weeks but I am looking forward to it and this is exactly what I needed to get me going again and I am once again excited to be a photographer. When you move to some place city and have to re-establish yourself (as I have to do twice now) it can be challenging, discouraging and frustrating. But things are looking up... as they always do. In all of this I hope to convey to everyone out there that PATIENCE really is something we all have to have and this is really a lesson in perseverance. I was ready to cash in the photography gear and think about looking for something full time but the photography gods want to keep me around a little longer. And, that makes me happy!