When you don’t succeed…just surround yourself with more successful people.
Given today’s current economic state graduating from college guarantees you nothing. Don’t worry it’s not all bad even if you haven’t been able to fulfill your hopes and dreams maybe your friends have. If this is the case crowdsource success and bask in someone else’s glory. In this semi-depressive spirit I’m going to profile my friends who are, in a way, “doing it better.” What makes them particularly special is that they all have succeeded in unconventional and typically discouraged careers; a musician, two filmmakers and a performer.
Benjamin Booker. Does that name strike a familiar chord? That’s right Benjamin Booker was one half of the Ben and Lea show on Growradio and my former co-blogger. Since leaving the show Ben has accomplished a lot, making a name for himself in New Orleans and now taking over Tampa. In collaboration with drummer Max Norton, the two just received the “Best New Band” award from Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay. The duo was described as
causing quite a stir with healthy servings of dynamic indie rock and garage blues. -Creative Loafing
So don’t believe everything your parents tell you, sometimes you can become a successful musician. Their next big show is a good one so mark it on your calendar. Ben and Max play with the Jacuzzi Boys November 1st at the New World Brewery. For more information about Ben and Max check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/benjaminbookerNOLA.
THE TWIN FILMMAKERS
The Smyth Twins. Jeremy and Brendan Smyth are filmmaking wonder twins who specialize in experimental documentaries. The brothers recently traveled to Bali, Indonesia to make the film Rice for Sale, a documentary that explores the effects of mass tourism. In 2011 they made Por Dinero featuring an undocumented worker from Oaxaca, Mexico who was living illegally in Gainesville Florida. The two stayed in Mexico for several months living with this man’s family. During this time they documented Oaxaca culture and explored the village’s dying indigenous language Chatino. Though Jeremy and Brendan don’t like to make explicit politic claims about their work, the film, possibly do to its experimental quality, had an intimate perspective that broke the post-colonial lens most Americans use to view immigration. It was a truly refreshing approach to documentation.
Recently they’ve expanded their talents and produced Massachusetts’ only experimental film festival, H.E.F.F, the Haverhill Experimental Film Festival. The fest is one of 50 in the world that specializes in experimental film making its conception a tribute to the power of passion and ultimately twin-ness. For more information about the brothers check out their website blacksmythfilms.com or their Facebook page, facebook.com/blacksmythfilms.
Below is a clip from the Smyth’s first documentary Por Dinero.
THE DANCER & PERFORMER
Katie Brunner. This woman is an inspiration to the world and the reason I started hula hooping (she was actually the one who lit my hula hoop for my first fire hoop experience). I met Katie in Gainesville years ago and though we never became super close I instantly became enamored with her talent and wonderful personality. In addition to being an unbelievable hooper, she eats fire and is an aerialist and trapeze artist. What’s truly amazing though is that Katie didn’t attend performance school to hone her craft, she’s just that good. If you ever find yourself in the Denver area you can catch one of her performances at Illuminar Aerial or take a lesson with Katie at Aerial Dance Over Denver.
Aside from being just a ballsy lady fire performer Katie is one of those people who makes you want push your own physical boundaries. Feeling terrible during the recession and need a shot of adrenaline? Befriend a fire performer, you’ll be inspired to get things done or at least you can always fall back on the cliché of running away with the circus.
Below is a “steampunk” aerial performance, it’s a little strange but very entertaining. If you want to see more conventional performances just youtube Kate Brunner and buckle your seat belt.