Innovating Through Artistry

Borat and Death of A President

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on November 16, 2006 at 1:47 am

SO, My husband, Chuck, and I went to see Death of A President, a fictional docu- drama about what might happen in the event President Bush (43) is assassinated. Its a typical Indie film in my opinion. Low budget, no frills, and a plot that just keeps you hanging on somehow, yet, you leave happy you came to see it.

We didn’t go to see it, actually, for its controversial topic, but instead because my newly found drummer, Tony Dale, for Bite-Size Arts Ensemble, is in it.

Tony is a great drummer. Last weeks gigs included sitting in with English Beat and Poi Dog Pondering, in between finishing up a few different recording projects.  Last year Tony went to Morocco with a banjo player. They did a show for just banjo and drums and boy can Tony play soft. He can play anything, and he is so passionate about drumming!

In any event-back to the movie-Tony was hired to bring a “band “to the film project. He and “the band” would be the group in the background playing while they were filming a scene.

When Tony arrived, this dreadlock, hoop earring, muscle bound guy,Tony, caught the directors attention. He told Tony to shave and clean up and come back.  A couple days later, when Tony returned with a crew cut and clean shaved, the director cast him. Tony was cast because he looked like the father of the “sons” in the film and like he belonged with their mother. Instead of being hired to be part of “the band” in the film,Tony, was cast as the man who kills the President.

 There is nothing much left in the film, of all the stuff they shot of Tony. Most of it wound up on the cutting room floor. But Tony got to have a great time stepping outside of his comfort zone and doing something to stretch his creativity just a bit.

So if you go to see the film, see how many times you see Tony Dale in it; drummer extraordinaire and the drummer for The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble.

I am really excited about working with Tony. He is a very entreprenurial, self taught drummer who is very creative, and successful.

A long time ago, when Tony was first learning to drum, he use to play and rehearse in the basement of his grandmother’s house. She was at work Tue and Thur nights and during the day on Saturday. Tony could practice and play loud in her basement because she wasn’t home then.  

His grandmothers basement was a really old south side Chicago house;  with an old shoot for coal into the basement and still half full of coal. Tying to play around the coal got tricky, as his group he developed grew, and rehearsal space was getting limited.

At the time, Tony was also trying to help his grandmother out and help her clean up her basement; so he and his buddies in his group, decided to call themselves The Coal Ensemble. If you didn’t know the story about needing to get rid of the coal in Tony’s grandmothers basement,  when you were handed a lump of coal, wrapped up in plastic at the lounge door, it seemed like a clever piece of marketing; helping you to remember the band because they were good. Tony was also the only black guy in the group which added something to the marketing sigificance of the piece of coal, for The Coal Ensemble.

Needless to say, in no time, Tony had cleaned out his grandmother’s basement by giving away her coal, one lump at a time, at his gigs.

Tony is GGRREEAAT!  

 My husband and I also went to see Borat.

While I found myself amazed at my own reaction to it, often feeling embarrassed at its unbelievably inappropriateness- I just wasn’t raised to ever do or say any of those things; but– isn’t that why its so outrageously funny because we can’t believe ANYONE would do or say what Borat says and does to the people he talks to in the film?  

I hope that Borat decides to “share his new found wealth”, the 67 million dollars windfall to date, out of the kindness of his heart, with those in the film. Participants received $400.00 each and waived all their rights, for their being portrayed, perhaps unknowingly, in wouldn’t you say a rather poor light?  

Actor Sacha Barron Cohen, while certainly not the first actor to become a 24/7 character, Sacha’s development of the character Borat is an original, unique, one of a kind and creative.

We can learn things from watching how others use their creativity. Tony used his to help his grandmother get rid of all the coal in her basement and benefited from creatively using it to market his band. Sacha Barron Cohen used his creativity to create a character Borat who make’s people laugh at his inappropraite behavior and socially unacceptable commentary.  

I am sure between these 2 movies Borat and Death of A President, you have an opinion about each. Regardless of that opinion, the fact that you even have one, is a sign that each of these movies were successful in demonstrating creativity. Creativity is the fuel that motivates people to action and thought. Creativity is a powerful fuel and certainly a powerful economic one.

What are you going to do today, next week or next year to use your creativity to move people to action and thought?

  1. […] am in the exciting stage of creating a new arts ensemble, called The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble. Its an ensemble about helping artistic human capital to work through creative, educational  and […]

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