You see peoples opinions everywhere these days, some wear them like a uniform. Obviously social media platforms like facebook and twitter allow the individual the endless opportunity to espouse their personal opinions and beliefs, but at what price. We're entering into another election cycle and the wheels of public opinion are turning. I'll be the first one to admit that I am a contributor to the cause of enlightened awareness through memes and syncs, but I've also noticed that these opinions fall short sometimes and become more like wall paper on an angry wall.
(or, am I that social tool?)
I like to apply the image of myself standing on a soapbox in a crowded room of mostly strangers, when I take my stand on that box to make my opinion known I have to ask myself, would I really say that here and now? From my perspective I believe there are actually only 2 kinds of people on our planet, the "I's" and the "we's'" they are sometimes recognizable by their political or religious affiliations, and other times they stand on their own. The "I's" will take the stand that it's my right as an individual to be able to say or do what ever I want and the "we's" will sometimes take the position of consideration.
I like to think that I am a "we" personal, after all I've taken the road less traveled and spent most of my adult life trying to make people sound better... not a big monetary pay off there! What all this pay forward attitude has built for me though is a solid network of friends and co-workers who trust and value my opinion. This interest and this trust is the pay forward - pay back to me and I publicly thank you deeply here and now!
Because of this relationship that we have, you've allowed me to influence your entertainment mediums and even reinvent some of them based on our evolving opinions and technologies. I realized in my early years of music video sync presentations at The Mystic Theatre that I had a captured audience and a responsibility to maintain a certain professionalism with what I put on the screen, or at least walk that line when it comes to public taste. I had the opportunity to hone my craft in public and watch their reactions on a nightly bases, from 40 minute original music video syncs at door time to elaborate visual back drops during the shows... I have been most fortunate.
Because of this captured audience effect I quickly realized that I had a platform to get my personal opinions or positions across to the public, sometimes in a very subliminal way. I've have taken the personal stand that one of the greatest evils that we have in our society is the misuse and misappropriations of public media, although it apparently worked very well for Adolf Hitler (my only reference I promise). The culprits are agenda owned media moguls and countless television commercial's that stretch the truth beyond belief, shows that pander to base emotions as well as news entertainment reporters with their own opinions that read the words off teleprompters and act as if they are your best source for honest information. Perhaps if the TV had not lost it's ethics and moral center I would have more respect for the medium, rather than the corporate money grab that it has become.
It's a confusing world we live in right now, a full swing pendulum from good to bad... one sided political flags go down, equal rights and love wins at last! As a video and performance artist as well as a mock Professor I certainly try to take advantage of that confusion, after all if you are not paying attention or are distracted I may be able to get my point across without you even noticing,
other times I'm not so subtle.
Case in point, my "Dark Side of Oz" series. Both subject matters,
"The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wizard of Oz" are steeped in political
commentary, even "The Wizard of Oz" has been interpreted as a political statement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_interpretations_of_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz
it's just so subtle that it is almost unrecognizable.
Where I like to take advantage of this trusting relationship is actually not in my "Dark Side of Oz" movie sync, but in my "Introduction to Oz" portion of the show that opens up the first 30 minutes of my screening, an "Oz" primer so to speak. It's in that opening context of "The Introduction to Oz" that I get to demonstrate my theories and practices of synchronicity. Interwoven into this opening Introduction is what I like to think of as my personal point. My personal performance point or focus varies from year to year depending on the political and social climate and like any good opening band it had better be fun, educational and entertaining!
In 2012 the current trend of non violent protest was camping on doorsteps and the word of
the day was occupy! I found myself in the position of understanding and agreeing with a lot of the movements objectives but, disagreeing with a lot of the Anonymous antics. Now I am not the one to lead a rally or announce a charge but I do have the ability to demonstrate my thoughts and beliefs through public performance. I took the 2012 "Introduction to Oz"
on as a very personal political statement.
BACK TRACKING for a minute: At the end of the 2011 "Dark Side Dub The Moonshine" screening I announced that this show might be my last. The audience didn't believe it, my family certainly believe it... even I partially believed that I meant what I had said. I told the audience that I was taking a sync sabbatical so I could spend more time tracking down the elusive synchronistic creatures while I was working on my Sync Thesis (code for my "Another day, Another Decibel" EBook.)
The year went by and I thought to myself, I can't just say I'm done and disappear, if I'm going out.. I'm going out on top... if I'm going out... I'll blow the whole thing up! Since it was the year of "occupy" and I was somewhat sympathetic to the cause I decided to set up a tent on stage at The Mystic Theatre and start my own sit in... "Occupy Oz." The day of the show I dressed myself up in the best image of Ozzy that I could pull together, loaded up the tent and myself with special effects and placed myself center stage inside my Occupy tent at door time, started my opening "Introduction to Oz" and waited for my "Diary of a Mad Man" cue to exit and begin class.
FYI: I cut the back out of the tent and placed it in front of the back curtain so I could slip
through the curtain to I could come and go without the class seeing me! As a matter of fact anyone coming or going on or off stage had to crawl through my hot tent lighting maze to get to the stage. I also had what I refer to as The Professor's "Wayback Machine" installed in that tent filled old school lighting effects like fog, strobes and spinners. I even installed a video monitor in the tent so I could see my cue and watch my opening video live with the class.
The Introduction to Oz video for my 2012 Oz Fest had George Bush introducing Ozzy and was loaded with comedy versions of Madd TV's Alternate Oz Endings - https://youtu.be/6exm2Hi28Xw
as well as quite a few political video statements from notable stage men like:
George Carlin (The American Dream - https://youtu.be/acLW1vFO-2Q
Michael Douglas (Wall Street - https://youtu.be/pjCObyaJRMQ
Peter Finch (Network - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug
The glue that helped bind the video statements together was the large collection of
occupy photos that I collected. All of these hand picked photos and video clips,
were represent my personal and public opinion were carefully placed in
context to make my Personal Performance Point and in turn,
better prepare you for your Dark Side of Oz journey.
The Dark Side of Oz - Somewhere over The Wall - 2015
This years live stage screening will re-invent the entire urban legend and as far as my
"Introduction To Oz" goes, you will have to wait for my Personal Performance Point at
my live screening. I will say however that this year I point my fickle finger of fate at
all of the talking heads on television, for better or worse they influence a nation.