Friday, July 22, 2011

The Tao of US

I fear if I say this, I'll be punished.  I got this thing in me that doesn't want to trust it, doesn't want to believe it, doesn't think I deserve it ...
But the truth is I feel lucky.  I feel happy. It's been going on a few years now, it's a project still incomplete, I still got a lot of messed up small me to sort through, but as an adult I've never known this. I'm thankful for it, I'm lucky for it. But the truth is, if you asked me, how's it going, I gotta say, it's going good.

For long time I've been living out of a frustrated worldview, illusions of what my age means, what and where I should have been, things I long should have achieved.  There was no now.  There was a tormented past of almosts and should have beens, and a future I thought I wanted that seemed forever receding into non-being.  And then, in time, you get older, you sink into the now more, the this is it, this is truly where and who you are.

We just wrapped the Strong Medicine theatre to video promo shoot.  A piece about anti-smoking, respecting tobacco, etc.  But the prayer that was answered here wasn't about the "educational message" of the show (that was brilliantly created in the script by Yvette Nolan I should add), it was about touching upon another "you're a lucky human being" experience. 

I'm supposed to write about the process, filmmaking stuff, and I thought I would sit down here and chat about that.  But the truth is, and I realize this could sound heavy handed, but I don't really care about "filmmaking"
anymore, this shoot helped confirm that.  I want to share this profound experience of being alive.  That's it. I have no idea if I'm any good at what I do, or try to do, or if what I do is any good, or if I have anything insightful to say about an art form I'm struggling to get better at.  But I do know this: NEPA has human beings involved in its doors.  Human beings with spirit.  Kindness. Smiles.  A chance to celebrate and be alive with other good souls.

I'm sure I sound like a wanker by now.  A little hammered at an after party?
I'm not.  I'm in an airport lounge by myself. Drinking water and eating a granola bar.  Sexy, I know.  But you know what I really think about the shoot? I'm gonna miss them.  Life's funny that way.  For all the studying of the craft that I've done, which began 17 years ago in the same location we shot this project at (York University campus), I've learned this: the art form ultimately doesn't matter.  The deliverable doesn't matter, or any sense of job well done.  It's the people.  The relationships. Them. That momentary and all too fleeting Us. And while there was that Us I was stupidly happy.  And I hope the path leads to more Us's, with all of Them.

-Contributed by Shane Belcourt

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