My thanks to all.
To all of the talented individuals that helped me grow what started out as a “simple” idea into a complex and successful fruition, I thank you so Much!
My appreciation to you and the feelings I have, are immeasurable…
As for the others, who were distracted by the large camera production, massive lights, and Honor Guards salutation of gun fire honoring Detroit’s Children.. I would ask that you to please look at the big picture, and consider the smiles on the faces of the Children from the Detroit Children’s Choir. These kids grew immensely from this experience. As their director Carol Schoch, and many of their parents have told me personally.
I have copied some of the emails tht I have been receiving over the course of the last few days.
Gregory and Jeffrey,
I want both of you to know what a heartfelt experience Friday evening was for Zoe as a participant, and for me as a member of the audience . I realized early on in the process how important this project had become to Zoe, she expressed on several occasions that she really loved the new material. For most of the children this experience will be an opportunity to venture away from a self imposed definiton of what they think they should be doing musically, or what others expect them to do musically, and for that very special gift I thank you. There was nothing distracting about the evening, if you could hear you experienced something beautiful.
Guys, I’m still running full speed since an unbelievable time in Detroit—so this will be brief.
I can’t shake the thought of the emotional dimension that pure hard work on an incredibly unique project brings out. Every laugh had, tear shed, muscle flexed, conversation spoken, talent wrought—I can’t help but be eternally grateful to have been part of this experience and have the opportunity to peer into the great beyond of what a group of people and their collective effort+talents can bring.
I’ve been waiting to find the best time and place to cry and unleash the deep feelings I have for the entirety of the firehouse project. It’s happening now as I’m walking into the conde nast building to shoot.
To everyone. From the bottom of my heart. Endless love.
Hi Greg and Jeff -
I am still reflecting on the Firehouse experience and marveling at what was accomplished and how it all turned out. Thank you for inviting DCC to participate in your vision. The children grew is big ways during the whole process and especially during the performance itself. They really understand the word ‘professional’ as it relates to performance mode - focus, comportment, self control, expression, communicating through the music, feeling the music,…. I could go on, of course, but I know you get it. So, from my perspective, the outcome was fabulous!
I will say the compositions were beautiful so hats off to the composers for that, they did an amazing job. My personal opinion is that the event was a huge success. The audience was very appreciative and just sat there with smiles on their face after the show to take in what they had heard and seen. The sound sounded great, the performers were spot on and the kids were awe inspiring.
Only meeting you 3 weeks ago I at first thought i might be crazy for flying down to help out. Yes more time would have been great but I must say. This was one of the best decisions of my life. Performing a selfless act for Detriot and its people with a group of creatives, and working with you has opened my eyes again to what I am supposed to be doing with my life and how my creative gifts can empower my community to push for great things and beautiful things.
From the kids involvement and the smiles on their faces to their teachers it was obvious they had an amazing time and that alone should make all this other negativity go away. Its ridiculous that anybody would question the power of this project and its huge success. We all have creative opinions but at the end of the day I think ever person in the audience was able to identify with so much variety of beautiful music, theater and performance.
I think i can speak for Kim and I on this one, we love you very much for the inspiration you have given and the gift that we saw that night.
Thank you for sharing this and soliciting our feedback. I will just briefly give my two cents.
I had a total blast and feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of something unique and creative with a spotlight on Detroit, a place I have come to adore, and to work with many wonderful, talented people.
From our other projects together, I felt that I was prepared for what I imagined would be a fluctuating, almost experimental production with lots of uncharted territory and unexpected shifts.
Another aspect that I think frames my experience is knowing that I was only one teeny part of a much larger production. The fact that I did not know all the goings on was not much an issue for me at the time. My focus was fulfilling my specific role.
That many things were a pleasant surprise (the extensive nature of the filming, the involvement of the firemen, staging, etc.), I believe, is a function of my overall enthusiasm for the project and delight that someone is taking the initiative to highlight Detroit, its history and the creative and dedicated people therein in a unique and interesting way. I can see that there would be some distress in certain things being a surprise for those who had a larger creative stake in the project.
In hindsight, I do think that it would have been helpful if we were all on the same page with regard to the symbolism, philosophy and context/timeline of the performance both overall and the little nuggets. The spire for example. That’s really cool! I had no idea. I think that knowledge would have helped inform Thollem’s piece for sure.
I know you have shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make this something really special and positive for our community. I thank you so much for your hard work and I hope that the various challenges have not tainted this experience overall. I hope very much to work together in the future and I’m always down for whatever.
I found the entire experience rewarding on so many levels. I know you devoted your entire soul into the project, and your selfless actions reminded me of this every day. As for the live performance. From what I saw behind camera were children enthralled in the moment and singing and dancing with passion. I saw the crowd engaged, truly enjoying themselves, and transfixed: The proof is in the footage.
I learnt through this project that people who undertake strictly technical or physical jobs are usually not interested in art projects of any kind, and they need to be paid unless there is a very specific cause (as this was the case though). I stated several times that I couldn’t understand people’s lack of interest on 9/11 10th anniversary and their blatant intention to cash in. But I would also say that a room full of artists working almost for free is the perfect environment for this kind of ‘grievances’ and it was inevitable that somebody came up with them, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I will come forward if you ask me so to defend the integrity of your/our project.
Greg and Jeff, it was a pleasure working with you and I appreciate
everything that you guys have brought to Detroit. Certainly hope that
we will collaborate again in the future. Kathy, you were wonderful and I thank you again for your attention to detail. Hope to see all of you soon and congrats on a great start to this project!
Congrats on a great project. I look forward to seeing/hearing about the final video product this fall.
I hope you’ve recovered from this. I just wanted to say thanks for including me in the Fire House project. I had an amazing time working with everyone, and it is something I’ll be talking about for a long time. At a party on Saturday a couple people recognized me from the concert, and had many compliments about the performance. Looking forward to seeing the film and photograph!
I’m sure you’re asking yourself “WTF?” right about now…
In any case, it was an absolute pleasure lighting it up for you and meeting everyone. It sure looked like you were getting something you can cut. Noise Reduction might be an issue that only an experienced post house can deal with for some of the shots.
Again, thanks a ton for having me be a part in your community event.
Oh my goodness! What a sight to behold. You really do things up, this old chick sure has a lot to learn from you - memorable.