So I made my music video acting debut over the weekend. But don’t worry – I didn’t gyrate atop a yacht or anything. Kept it classy. I’m not trying to be just another Joe, all up in the videos.
All joking aside, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the video-extra experience. A friend asked on short notice if I could fill a spot. I didn’t have anything else planned and got the OK to include my 9-year-old daughter – it would be good blog fodder and some temporary hero status at home, if nothing else.
It wound up being more than that – not the part, but the idea.
The background goes like this: A local ad writer and freelance author is compiling some of his works into a book, one of the pieces being about what it would be like to be accompanied by a DJ. A local DJ put that story to music for use in a video to promote the book. A local rapper agreed to direct the video. A local video producer signed on to, well, produce the video.
My segment took place on a city bus, my mission to sit there and occasionally offer a puzzled look in the direction of the author and his DJ, which I did with an intensity that would have frightened Daniel Day Lewis. The hardest part might have been picking out clothes – I’m so rarely in an office setting that I’ve forgotten what “work attire” means.
By the time we arrived, the director and videographer were getting set up and the bus had been cleared for use. Everything went like clockwork. It did not feel the way that local videos often look.
But the thing that stuck with me the rest of the day: The level of creative energy. Again, pretty much everybody involved does something else for a living yet they were displaying passion, knowledge and professionalism in something else – for little to no money, probably.
For little to no money. When did I start to connect the creative process with getting rich or famous? What a disappointing realization.
The odd thing is that I don’t genuinely operate that way: I didn’t choose to go into journalism for the money, and Fury and I don’t update this blog five days a week for any sort of compensation. Yet somewhere in my brain, there’s an assumption that art isn’t worth pursuing unless there’s a financial payoff.
That’s what I liked about being around this crew for a couple of hours: There was an abundance of positive, creative ambition. Meanwhile, another friend recently signed a deal to write a book about his fishing habit. And my all-time favorite coffee local shop – on the week of its fifth anniversary – announced a move into a new and much larger space.
What does this mean for me aside from the fact that I have a bright future as an extra? At the very least, it reinforced the idea that Sioux Falls is an interesting place to live, inhabited by countless do-it-yourselfers. We’re all better off for it even if we don’t buy the book or watch the video.