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Ambitious Vision

Celebrity is a fascinating construct. And one I’m largely unaffected by. Sure, I respect and admire talent. And I’ll admit to a certain giddiness when faced with people whose work I enjoy - like when I met Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine at All Tomorrows Parties. Or when I’ve interacted with Neil Gaiman or Bruce Campbell. But that has less to do with their fame and more to do with me (and a whole lot of other people) truly connecting with what they actually do. So recently, when I was invited to sit in on a conference call with the entertainer known as Common, I was a little unsure about it. I’m not incredibly familiar with his work (though I took my Dad to see Wanted, which he appears in). I quickly realized the others in on this are more focused music/entertainment bloggers. This blog is and always has been about any and everything that strikes my fancy. But I have my audience. And heck, sometimes it’s good to do something a little out of your element.

On Tuesday there were about a dozen of us on the line with Common and his PR person. We were each instructed to submit three questions ahead of time and were allowed to ask one each. Mine was about what kind of music - old or new - he’s been listening to lately. Sounds like they made a lot of feel-good mix tapes on the set of this latest movie (he’s currently promoting Just Wright, which got a favorable review from Ebert). Common listed an assortment of artists like Jamiroquai, Lil Rain, Shuggie Otis, Bjork, Lauryn Hill, Radiohead, Drake, D’Angelo, and Kanye West. Not entirely surprising selections (except for the Bjork maybe). Other bloggers had questions focusing on the ties between basketball and rap/hip-hop and yes, Common acknowledged that he still has some not-so-serious hoop dreams. More interesting to me - he admitted his dream role would be to portray Marvin Gaye. Another blogger was in fashionista mode. Sounds like Common is in on the Summer of Dapper plan, into looking gentlemanly while wearing ascots and tailored Marc Jacobs clothing. But he scored points with me for saying he doesn’t pay attention to brand names but is just into wearing what looks/feels right.

There was much talk all around about Queen Latifah’s influence, about how she understood where he was coming from as a musician and actor. And the sage advice she gave him about getting to the next step in his career while growing as an artist and person. In that way he sounded just like any of the other artists/musicians/actors I’ve known in my life. Focusing on doing good work now, and building onto it for the next big project.

On a much MUCH smaller scale in terms of “celebrity”…yesterday I was but a little tiny blip in a small corner of the interwebs while being twitterviewed on yes, twitter, by Joel E. Carlson. This meant I had more and different eyeballs on my output than I usually do. But I came out unscathed. And hopefully not sounding like too much of a dork. And if you are here, reading this now because of it, well, welcome friend.


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