A while back a good friend of mine, Tanikka Charrae’, was honored with the privilege of hosting IM3Media’s event at a Philly venue called the Arts Garage. The headliner for the show was Maroon 5’s keyboardist and newly signed Young Money Cash Money Billionaires artist, PJ Morton. PJ was nice enough to bring out some of his friends to get the party started, Thomas ‘TC’ Clay and Aaron Camper.
So why was I there? Well for one, to support my bestie Tanikka Charrae’, who I’ve yet to mention is an amazing solo artist who also sings backing vocals for the great Lauryn Hill. I was also there taping some footage for the upcoming TCtv docu-seroes, The Climb. A series showing a young artist’s climb/grind to make a name in the music industry. That young artist… you got it, Tanikka Charrae.
All that said, I had a blast watching the excitement on stage and off. I love being back stage, reminds me of my old theater days. Something about that cool creative, wild, nervous, energy building up to something magnificent for all the people in the audience…who by the way, had to wait like 2 hrs before the show started. I don’t think they were disappointed at all by the end of the night.
It was a high energy, fast paced, night and I had a ball. Now I did make a lot of mistakes that night, but I also laughed with good beautiful people, networked with some great artists, and learned what not to do next time.
In my down time, I was able to get some stills. I’ll drop em below. Stay and check em out. Thanks!!
Ok so, most people who know me, know that I have a special reverence in my heart for The New Freedom Theater. This was a place that I grew personally and artistically. I can be extremely shy in some instances, but Freedom theater gave me the skill and confidence to speak in front of large groups, create my own path, and discover the many roads that are available to me as an artist.
The teachers at Freedom have been mentors for me in my professional career, even though it is not arts based, and my educational aspirations. Freedom theater, and the connections I have made there, have always been considered a second family to me.
So when Ms. Diane called me and told me to come out to a dress rehearsal in preparation for their departure to Panama, I had to come out to support.
Back story: Freedom Theater not only promotes artistic development, but is also adamant about making sure it’s African American students are aware of their heritage and ancestry. Back when I was a student at Freedom, they expanded their curriculum to include Vita Saana, a form of African martial arts developed in Philadelphia about 20 years ago. Well this year Mwalimu Taliba and some of her students were blessed with the honor of going to Panama to compete in a competition. When they found out they were affiliated with Freedom Theater, they requested they come as well to participate in a cultural exchange. Freedom decided to showcase some works from it’s repertoire. Among the group was Tap Dance extraordinaire, and my homie, Khalil Munir. <——– Also an extremely talented actor, dancer, and teacher. I actually shot some stills for a documentary he produced about his life. Maybe I’ll share down the road.
Brought my camera along for the ride. This is what transpired. #sidebar I am ABSOLUTELY loving live theater photography. The colors, the movement, the lights, just great!
Anyhoo check the technique… you know the deal. click the pic to enlarge!
I was working on a film project that kinda got left on the editing floor and wanted to get more experience. I decided I’d had my current dslr for quite a while, and could benefit from treating myself to an upgrade. So I went out and purchased the Canon T2i, not a full sensor camera, but hey it’s what I could afford at the time. I am a techy and love to buy electronics and things, but I was going through my usual state of buyers remorse. Did I really have the money for this camera? Should I return it? Maybe I’ll just test it out until my 30 days are up on the return policy? Do I even get enough photography gigs to make my money back? yada yada yada!
Ironically, 2 days after I bought the camera, I received a call from @Jos_Works (follow her on twitter), a multi-talented artist and filmmaker. She was actually brought in on the film project I was just talking about to help out with some writing and directing. She was calling to ask me to do photography and/or video for a multi-media play she was producing at the CEC.
To say the least, I was honored and jumped at the chance. I took photos one night and shot video on another. I had a great time at the event. Took lots of pictures and even wanted to get out on the stage myself. Something bout the Djembe man! It was a high energy show with singing, dancing, drummers, and short video interlaced throughout the play. On the day that I did video, luckily Jos had another person shooting as well, because I forgot to turn my mic on for the first 2 scenes! EEEK! That could’ve been a major disaster, buuuuuuut that’s why Jos is a professional and I’m not!
Even though I can be very hard on myself, I still feel very encouraged and excited about my progress. I’m learning a lot from Jos and look forward to doing many other projects with her and gaining as much wisdom as I can from her. Jos made a short excerpt of the footage I shot, I’ll post the link below. I’m looking forward to see what she did with the full edit. I also have my own footage, so I’ll be able to experiment and learn more about editing my own short clips from the play. Maybe I’ll post them later when I get around to it.
So I have been trying to get more into video. I have a lot of ideas in this big ol head of mine, but I’m still learning about editing and even shooting so I do what I can. After I got my new camera with HD video, I went out to Treasures’ Open mic with a good friend of mine. While I was there I took a little video of the happenings of the night. The picture above one of only about 6 pictures taken that night. He’s the owner of the club, and I guess he was the bartender that night too. Well Check out my lil commercial I made with the footage I shot. Wait…nevermind. I can’t upload video with this account! LOL Maybe I’ll put it on my youtube or something.