Olga Moritz of Full Circle Healing Arts posed these interesting questions after previewing my Sunscreen Song Tribute the night before the release. I hesitated on answering the questions immediately, thinking interviews were something more akin to celebrities, but after a number of readers asked me similar questions, I thought I’d share it with everyone.
What was your intention with regard to your first 7-minute inspirational dance/video montage (videodancescape)?
I wanted to do something really free and fun, with the side effect of showing people what’s possible. It’s crazy how it came together. I really liked The “Sunscreen Song” (Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen), so I flirted with the idea of syncing some adventure clips to it while I was on the road last May. The more I imagined it, the more it started to materialize.
At first, I jokingly filmed some silly scenes of myself goofing around in different landscapes. Not long after, I found myself filming little dance scenes while thinking of the “Dance!” part of “The Sunscreen Song” while traveling. And then, I really started filming specific scenes when I drove across the country in October. It really came together in December when I was editing. As I reviewed unwatched travel footage, many random scenes just popped up and inadvertently fit the song. I have an article lined up on the power of intention in relation to that.
I also didn’t remember what the original video for the song looked like. I didn’t watch it so that I would come up with something entirely original and based on my own experiences. By the way, I love that word – videodancescape. It’s very image provoking. It actually gives me an idea, which I’m writing down right now.
How much fun was it to be in total creative control of the piece?
Amazing. When I look back at the freedom to work on something that has no commercial purpose, I can understand why actors leave high paying TV contracts to return to the theatre. Prior to the video, creatively, I felt I was at a standstill. One of the many coats I wear that few people know about is that I’m also a fine artist. However, recently, I’ve had many unfinished and uninspired paintings and felt my creativity was at a standstill.
But with The Sunscreen Song Tribute, I felt a renewed vigor and realized I just needed a new outlet. It was my first creative video project (I have no film-school training), but I rapidly finished all major editing in 4 days with very little sleep. It was sheer joy.
“Do everything with your body.” How does this statement impact mind?
The body, our senses, is a path to getting acquainted with our minds. When I’m rock climbing, dancing, or doing yoga, I don’t think about much else. I’m either focused on my movements or enjoying the moment. I’ve learned that by taking that focus and awareness of one’s body to daily activities, even with something simple as washing the dishes, or my favorite, mending my clothes, it helps elevate everything one does.
I’m thinking of an entertaining quotation from Fight Club:
“ Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.”
Do you have any fears left in you?
Absolutely. That’s the story of my life and this blog – living with uncertainty and fear. It’s all about managing these “fake fears” and more importantly, courage. For example, I still have plenty of moments of hesitation approaching attractive women in public. I also know from experience that I when I miss an opportunity, I hate banging my head against the wall later thinking “what if, would have, should have” even more, so that definitely helps me act more.
I also have a fear of confrontation. Well actually, it’s more like I have a low tolerance for conflict and drama. For example, I remember last week I had a less-than-stellar dispute at a business I frequent. Although I calmly cited past, objective experiences and knew I was correct, the new manager was abrupt and grew more hardened in her position as I recalled past experiences. Rather than create unnecessary drama, I accepted the situation, took it up with the head office the next day, and everything was promptly resolved. In disputes or negotiations, I recommend sticking with facts and leaving out emotions as much as possible.
Name two things that would scare the pants off you?
Well, I’ve learned that mental fears are really just that, so although they may make my heart race a bit, they won’t scare the pants off of me.
However, the last time I really got spooked, I was on the final pitch of a 15-pitch climb in Mexico. The final pitch rounded a corner to a difficult and windy sheer face with a 1500 foot drop – I was really nervous climbing that final stretch. The view from the top anchor station is actually on The Sunscreen Song Tribute at the part where Baz Luhrmann quips “your choices are half chance…”
In light of that, what would scare the pants off of me would be doing something crazy adventurous on a sheer rock face in combination with rock climbing. Off the top of my head, two such activities would be BASE jumping and slacklining (see below video).
What’s the most important thing in life according to you?
This one’s evolved quite a lot, and still evolving as I re-define my perspective of life. When I was younger, I felt family values were really important. Then, I noticed that not everyone is given a great family or even has one for that matter. I also came to realize that although family is great to have, it is not one’s sole purpose in life. I plan on writing more about this meaty topic later.
Then, I remember I used to feel strongly about personal values such as honesty and integrity, but the other day, I tweeted this thought:
“Don’t concern yourself with what other people should or shouldn’t be, even if you intentions are noble“.
It’s just that in this vast world, and all the people I’ve seen and met in their simple and complex life situations, I can’t really judge them because their life circumstances could be so different from mine, even though honesty and integrity are great characteristics to have.
As for what I think is important now, though I can’t say it’s the most important, I would say from a spiritual context, it’s centering of oneself. For readers new to this concept, it roughly means not occupying your mind with stress, worry, anxiety, resentment, and other negative states. This topic can get pretty involved, but if it piques your interest, I highly recommend reading Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power Of Now.
On the same topic of change, another reader recently asked me about my purpose for traveling. That’s evolved too – I used to travel to see a lot of places and open up my mind, then I changed it to having serious adventures abroad because I was tired of just looking at places. Now, I mostly want to live and experience different cultures at a slow pace.
Talk about your upcoming projects.
While filming The Sunscreen Song Tribute, I actually concurrently filmed videos for more inspirational videos I plan on slowly releasing in the future. I also have to get more footage on the road while I continue piecing together my creative vision for these projects. I’m hitting the road tomorrow actually.
In addition, I’ve filmed the required footage for many of my upcoming dance DVD’s, but I’m a real perfectionist, so I often find myself re-shooting scenes and going out to clubs to get more stock footage while creating my Club Dance Style. It’s pretty hard getting dance footage in night clubs, but it’s important as it really shows that I walk my talk (or rather, dance it). Night clubs don’t like video cameras, but these days, video cameras are so small and versatile that soon a phone will suffice!
Other than that, I’m seriously spending a lot of time editing these days, even though I may be abroad. To keep editing from completely draining me, I plan on interspersing creative, inspirational videos with DVD releases. Stay tuned!