AMONG B-BOYS: Celebrating Life!

Me, my grandmother, and more, at Knottsberry Farm (a family favorite picture)

Me, my grandmother, and more, at Knottsberry Farm (a family favorite picture)

Today marks two occasions to celebrate life. The first being the passing of my grandmother this past Sunday at the age of 80. The second, being that today, December 7th is my birthday. Today is a day of reflection, and one of the things that has occurred to me is that I have invested so much time and energy into documenting other people’s lives yet haven’t ever been one to really whip out the video camera during random family functions. I am grateful though, that my family is the type that likes to take pictures of everything (and I mean everything).

In the preparations for the memorial service this weekend I decided the best way for me to communicate my love and remembrance for my grandmother would be in putting together a slideshow using Final Cut and After Effects. It’s been tough to keep up with the demands of the outside world while tending to a priority such as this that is unplanned for, but that is why I am glad I have my co-producer/cinematographer, R.J. Lozada who can work on preparations for an upcoming shoot that we are planning so that I don’t miss a beat. While I’ve been helping my parents make the preparations for this weekend, I’ve also been needing to put together turntablist performance piece for a concert I am participating in at my Electronic Music class I am taking (Thursday 12/13: 7pm, College of San Mateo) and I am behind on some freelance videography editing. For those unexpected and unplanned for twists, it’s always great in numerous ways to have that network around you who can help pick you up.

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In reflecting this past week, I remembered one day when my brother and his family were visiting for the summer at my parents’ house, and my grandmother was visiting (their house is down around the corner). My sister in law Julia, had told me my grandmother asked her one day… “What does Christopher do?” It’s kind of funny because she (my grandmother) just didn’t really understand. She knew that I quit my job working at the Boys & Girls Club back in June, I’ve been living with my parents, working on something (the film), taking electronic music classes (which baffled her), and living off of some money I had from my Americorps stint. And after Julia had explained to her about the film, it was kind of like “Oh, cool…” but not in those words. And that resonates with how lucky I am to be able to do this. While recognizing the amount of privilege I am given by my family in them allowing me to live in their house while pursing my dreams, I know I am lucky. Much can be said about the sacrifices of previous generations, of my grandparents, parents, for me, and having a UC education, and “shouldn’t you be able to get a job with all that?” But all that history and hard work has also given me the freedom to choose something else, choose the career of filmmaking, and I’m grateful that not only has my family put me in a position to succeed, but also allowed me to choose.