I had bounced around my whole life. It feels like I still am most days.
I really have no idea how I ended up where I am. I mean I do, I know what happened, I lived those days, made those decisions, those beds, made messes, cleaned them up, and ran away from so many things. I get how I got here.
Did I ever expect any of this to be my life at the age of 8? 10? 15?
Fuck no. I didn’t.
At 8, I was busy riding bikes. Wondering why I never had friends that were girls for very long. Hating being called a tomboy, I just knew I was one…sans “tom.” I loved playing basketball, the piano, and worrying about the next plot to scrape my knees bloody.
10, something similar. I was still unsure, socially awkward. Super smart. I fit in with the super smart kids, only kind of. It starts that early, the propensity to not know what to do when interacting with females…I didn’t know either. I was shy and was friends with a few, but so shy, so awkward. So gay. For everyone. No words, just feelings.
15, things were starting to get real. The fabric of my patchy security blanket was unraveling. I couldn’t do anything about it. Not that it kept me very warm, or secure. It was a blanket, nothing more, nothing less. There were fights. There was cursing. There was a ton of alcohol consumed, and a wicked path was being crossed. No blanket now. No security.
But if you would have told me at 15, when everything I knew to be true, was just being proven to me with magnified intensity, that my life was going to end up beautifully just a few years later. I would have
looked you square in the eyes
and called you
a fucking liar
If you would have told me at the age of 15, that I was in fact queer, that my immediate family would be the way it is, I would have cried with such fear and self-loathing.
If you would have told me at 15, that my best friends would be queers, trans* folk, hippies, punks, potheads, philosophers, political activists, drag queens, burlesque dancers, visual artists, social justice workers, musicians, filmmakers, just creators all around, I would have been speechless.
I did not have the TV friendships. Mine were messy, all because of me.
I’m not saying that to throw a pity party. I literally just could not handle some serious friendships. I go up and down, and then I am lukewarm. I stop talking to people. I am insecure in conversation (although I am great at acting), I stop talking altogether. I fall off the face of the planet, and live behind the scenes.
If you would have told me four months ago, that I get to work with some of the most incredibly talented people on this planet, to create something that we all can be a part of, that will be at its best when we are a part of it. I would have skeptically shrugged off your comments.
Through some serious synchronicity
, I met these very people.
4 years ago, I was on the verge of being homeless. I was hungry. I was broke. I was still an artist. I had been bitten by a crazy spider, and my hospital bills were racking up as I was getting sick every couple of weeks. I responded to an ad on Craig’s List looking for photographers to shoot this live art show. Street artists gather and make shirts, paint panels, and get to know people who are into what they are doing. One Eyed Jack’s, 5th & Santa Fe. The building stands, but answers to a different name.
I met Carmine Diaz, who is better known by his moniker in the art world as, BLK MTL. We hit it off. We loved making art together. I captured his movement and his ability to bring his piece to life, the way he dances things into creation.
We spent a great deal of time together before I moved. Ran away. Got as far away from my bull shit as I could.
Lost touch for a few years. But when I came back home to Denver. After being called, pushed and pulled, it was done, I was home.
I am home
I sent him a message. Hoping he would remember me. He did. I cannot explain the joy that was filling me. New space, huge space, many great people and artists share it with him. My kind of space.
I met Cedric Chambers in that space. An incredible artistic talent, kind soul, and a huge point of support to everyone in his community. Never collaborated before, but he was always super supportive of me, and the crazy things I got us (BLK MTL included) into. Sporadic visits and a mutual admiration for each other’s work and discipline
…until one day…
That all changed…
He called. Told me there is a project. A project I needed to be in on.
bigger…..than I ever could have imagined.
Wait? You want me to do what?
Edit and curate the art book. For a movie? Soundtrack? All three working together, but still strong enough to stand a part, be themselves.
That sounds incredible. Yes, yes, of course. I am in.
The meetings started. Met Adam Blackford, the director, Hypnautic, Denver hip-hop sensation. All coming together to finish up what started off as just a good idea. Crowd funding. Viral marketing. Above all else
This cannot be done without help. Without the investment of people wanting to join in and create something amazing. To tell some real stories. Our stories. No matter how far off the path it is from our particular place, it is still something to relate to, sympathize for, and empathize with.
I had no idea I wanted to do a movie so badly, until I met these people. These are also, the only people, that could get me on board.
Without any preconceived notion of what the other was capable of, just a mutual understanding and trust. Everyone knew someone to get involved, to be in the places we are in. If one of us says so, the others listen. I have never worked with anyone like this before. I have never worked with a group of artists so serious and passionate about making this happen. It is our dream. But fucking hell, it is our reality too.
We aren’t “normal" people. We may have day jobs, desk jobs, just-paying-the-fucking-bills jobs. But we don’t live off that. We just survive. Maintain. It isn’t until we are grappling for the next though to put down, to realize, that we fully come alive. This is us.
This is about you too. With our crowd funding campaign, this is about you. Totally and completely. If you contribute, you are making this movie happen. $5 gets your name in the credits of the movie. Forever immortalized as part of it, as part of our crew, our people.
We each have our own individual communities, chosen families, that we spend our time with, go home to, and make a life with. We of course come together to create, but what is best about this project, it is allowing us, and encouraging us to go out and mobilize our different communities, bringing an entire city together to work on something beautiful, to tell stories that need to be told, and to bring some color back. To create something we can all be proud of.
No matter what the fund makes, if we meet our goals, we are still creating. Of course meeting goals mean we can tour around and go out and meet others and show them what we have been doing, with our city, with the world.
Please, spread the word. Like the campaign on facebook, reblog, tweet, re-tweet. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. You are truly just as much a part of this movie as anyone who is acting. Please, donate a dollar, spread the word. Check out the perks that come in at $25. This is about you. Your story.
ARTISTS and FRIENDS OF ARTISTS!
Stay posted on our facebook page, website, Indiegogo campaign site, YouTube, and twitter. There are open art calls for the juried backer-exclusive art book ($100+ perk). Your work, in the book. Published and telling your part of this story.
Come join us, please be a part of this movie with us, please take some time to spare some cash. For that $10 you are going to spend on a latte and muffin, you get the movie, soundtrack, art book, name in the credits, and tickets to the premier. You also keep the fires burning for so many people. No one’s flame was ever dimmed by lighting an other.
Keep an eye out for the August issue of InkSpired Magazine, City Dreams has an article and photo spread. 1 August at midnight!
Thank you, much love and light!