The first cool thing I did when I moved to New York City in 2014 was Tribeca Film Festival. ‘Time Is Illmatic’. That was the very first film, the very first time I got especially fly, the literal moment when I realized how madly in love with this crazy place I truly am.
Working at the Fox Radio Affiliate in Denver was often a drag. Radio was dying & I felt stifled creatively, so I asked a received a promotion to the biggest market in the world, the place I often dreamt about, New York City.
Being transferred to the New York City station was uncomfortable at first, living in the Bronx with a relative I barely knew, commuting on the 5 Train from Dyre Ave to Wall Street; it was all a bit much. With the exception of like 2 tolerable people, working at the station was a nightmare and no one was going to hang out with me or show me the city. So, just a few weeks into my new, weird, awesome life, I spent way too much money on a few tickets to Tribeca Film Festival because this has to get fun at some point, right?
Holy shit. It was like that moment when you leave your body to watch yourself do something intense. Watching a movie, is not intense. But Nas made me want to rap. ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’ was the first song I ever knew word for word. And I was here, now. In New York City. And the album that raised me was now the documentary introducing me into the most important phase of my life. Watching this movie, was fucking intense.
The next year, everything changed. EVERYTHING. I told the blatantly racist Program Director at Fox NY to “Go fuck himself.” and started to really flourish in all of the areas of interest that I always knew I was very good at. I went from the youngest (and only colored) person at Fox to basically attending every Fashion/Sports/Tech/Film/Music/Art event I wanted to.
Fast Forward to March 2015, Tribeca Film Festival is right around the corner. I just worked NYFW, Agenda, Capsule, Axis, and Playtime, but for some reason was not even close to being burned out. So, I looked into TFF and how to play some sort of role which led to my joining the Special Events Staff weeks later & working behind the scenes of the Screenings. As amazing as everything I’ve ever done in NY has been, nothing has come close to the Fest.
Present day, 2016, just a few days after the festival and before the annual staff party, I’m once again left with a great deal of nostalgia. Watching Tom Hanks 10 feet in front of me talk about how they made “A Hologram For The King”, trying not to turn my head during the way intense final 20 minutes of ‘Vincent N Roxxy’, helping Michael Cera set up his virtual reality headset; it’s a good thing this only happens once a year. Some things are so amazing, they should only be experienced in moderation. Next year, I plan to screen a short film, or two, in hopes that my art can inspire others as much as I’m inspired today. The film, was great. The experience, was surreal.