Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Promise of the Young Artist

Inspiration can seem to be the hardest thing to find. Oh, but when it finds you, it showers over you, warms your soul and takes hold of you -- demanding you to never let it go.

Inspiration seemed to find me these past few weeks. 

I had the great joy of attending a private viewing of the newest coming-of-age feature film The Promise of the Butterfly at the Music Box Theatre right here in Chicago. This incredibly impressive and ambitious piece brought such glory and loving attention to the life of an artist. I could tell I was not the only one in that quaint theater feeling inspired by the end of it. But, the true power that this film holds is the heart and passion that is the backbone of it. A melting pot of young artists, talent and creatives came together to tell this story.

The Promise of the Butterfly follows the journey of a young poet that falls in love with a beautiful dancer that is mute. Along the way, we meet countless other artists that are journeying as well. The film showcased not only vulnerable acting, but also an all original score and choreography. I  still think of the most stunning shots of our sweet city, Chicago. Was Chicago actually a character in the piece? I sure was rooting for it.

The film was written by Andrew Tamarkin and directed by Meredith Kirkman. Although, I can't say that it would be correct to simply leave their titles as that. This creative pair each wore numerous hats throughout the process. Producer, choreographer, composer, editor, and production manager all brush the base of the jobs these two took on during this year and a half journey creating a movie.

The two rising artists, Andrew and Meredith, a match made in creativity heaven, like to share in unison how this project came to be: It all started in an Uber. 

Andrew and Meredith first came together for creative collaboration for Andrew's thesis project in 2017. Andrew, a Political Science major from Loyola University, and Meredith, a Musical Theatre Dance major from Roosevelt University, tackled a beast of a final project and found such bliss along the way. These two firecrackers looked at each other after this project wrapped and decided they needed to make a film.

And make a film they did.

The artistic duo found themselves taking on producer's intuition, much like a new parent must feel when they suddenly just know what to do. A team of actors, production managers, editors, and musicians were meticulously put together to take on this project. KT Productions only had one restriction when recruiting their team: Dreamers only.

Kirkman Tamarkin Productions is an active advocate for rising artists. And that, my friends, is what it is all about. Two friends tackled something completely new and ambitious, broke down all barriers and followed the project through until the very end.

What have I taken away from these two dreamers? What can we all take away from them?

Do it. Simply do the thing that you are passionate about. Collaborate with other artists that strive for that same end goal as well. Break down the pride, join together and do it. Wear many hats along the way.

Tamarkin put it beautifully:

"I think we are entering the next renaissance. We are organizing at rates similar to the 1910's with the kinds of art that's being produced. It feels very much like a preparation for a new movement. Writers, directors, fashion designers, artists in general have been reflecting back on the twentieth century. I believe the 2020's are going to be a brand new period. We want to be ready. We want to be the artists that have a voice in that renaissance."

Fellow young artists, rise up. A new artistic wave is coming and we need to be ready.

(The Promise of the Butterfly is entering film festival mayhem next and will be available for viewing within the next year. You can follow Kirkman Tamarkin Productions here and here to keep up with all of their upcoming projects.)

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