Friday, November 24, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
JURY SITTING FOR THE ARTIST IN MOTION SCHOLARSHIP
Originally Posted: 06-08-2012 10:21 AM
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In the eye of the storm of production week for the Funkin' Rock Orchestra's Studio 376 show, I went off-grid for a half day out to help out a longtime peer and new friend. Multi Emmy-winning composer and music "reimaginator", Brian D. Siewert, had asked me to sit on the jury and help choose the 5th annual recipient of his “Artist In Motion Scholarship” at his alma mater, Lakeshore High School.

About a month previous, just when “THE BOOK” (see last week's column) was getting a bit overwhelming, I left Brian a voicemail at his Nashville home asking him to send any associated paperwork I needed to fill out ASAP, as I was being swallowed whole by 8.5” x 11” sheets and I was afraid that shortly I wouldn't be able to open the door to let his package in.

Brian wrote back (too afraid to call at that moment, I think…) and said it sounded like I was pretty busy and if I needed to pass he'd understand. I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't even for a moment consider his gracious offer to bail.

The competition featured a great group of 9 students aspiring towards careers in graphic design, filmmaking, acting, conducting, singing and dancing. Some were pretty focused in their skill set, such as two competing filmmakers, and some were more diverse such as an actress who also sang and had theater experience.

But among all this talent there was a hands-down standout, which I didn't expect. Her name is Brittany Millham and she took home the $10,000 scholarship with only 15 minutes of deliberation among the jurors.

Brittany was at once young and old, strong yet vulnerable, talkative and engaging yet admittedly withdrawn. She is an avid follower of Korean and Japanese popular culture, possibly due to her partial Asian heritage, and has a goal of living and working in Asia for a time.

My nickname to describe her in the deliberations was THE DEVOURER. When she took part in theater as an understudy, she also worked stage crew. She has to understand how things work. She dances. She plays violin. She draws exceptionally good Anime. Her art is filled with perfectionism and hints of anger and sadness and wicked humor.

One of the determining factors that earned my vote was not just the ability to WIN ten large and get a financial boost, but to continue with a career in the Arts. What would happen when the applicant gets hit with a nice slap of “real world”? Would they shrink back into a safe job and give up on their dreams? Would they give up their career aspirations for a man or a woman in their life? Or would they do what was necessary to keep pursuing a career in the Arts? If there was any doubt, they were taken off my list.

Brian asked the three jurors to advise him who could go the distance as a kindred soul who would eat, sleep, breathe, dream of, and make art no matter what. Brittany was the best example of that person hands down, with no close second. I believe that Brittany will be wise enough to recognize any door opened for her and if the door doesn't open, she'll burrow through the foundation.

Passion is so paramount in succeeding in the Arts, and rightfully underscored by the original Latin, it's something you suffer for. Brittany is filled with passion and it's something I could see in her eyes when asked at the conclusion of the interview why she should win Brian's $10,000. She turned inward for 5 or more seconds and thoughtfully replied in only three words: “Because I'm hungry.” I felt those words like a pang in my gut.

Like vampires, artists can always recognize their own, and once bitten, you can never go back. Welcome to the fold, Brittany and remember to never give up.

FIND A WAY MY FRIENDS
Dave Carlock
DAVE CARLOCK -
A DAY IN THE LIFE
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