DAY 19 of my 21 day writing challenge
“My schedule is crazy, I have a lot going on right now!” She said.
I responded, “That is exactly why I want you to be a part of this.”
I was building a coed multi-generation dunk team and Ebony was one of the few women on the planet who had successfully completed a front-flip dunk. She had to be a part of the team.
It was conversations like that one where I laid out the vision for the project with performers in Louisiana, Houston and Oakland in the hopes that they could see their vision in my vision.
A television contest show presented an audition opportunity and it was a chance to do something I wanted to do for a long time. But, both the casting producers of the show and the talent that would make up the team had to be convinced that it was a good investment of their time, reputations, money, etc.
So, the phone calls continued.
Deciding to do this was not an easy process. I had been on a TV talent show before which led to amazing opportunities, but also resulted in experiences that were the equivalent of having my heart ripped out, hooked onto a fishing reel and used as bait for sharks. The emotional risks of this new project were just as high or higher because there were 2 kids involved.
It was not until the team started taking shape that I realized everyone on the team was either a member of ACRODUNK or had been trained by someone I trained and in some instances trained by someone who was trained by someone I trained. I created sort of an ACRODUNK family tree to see the connections.
I presented to the casting producers 4 women, 1 girl, 7 men and 1 boy. They felt it was too many people but they liked the idea and they OK’d having 8 come to the audition. If I wanted 13, I’d have to figure out the logistics for the other 5 and make it happen.
By this time, I had already created the outline of a 13 person audition show with ideas for future shows and the 12 amazing people who agreed to go on this dunkventure with me were absolutely necessary to pull it off. I told the producers I’d handle the logistics for the 5 they wouldn’t. We didn’t have much time and we went to work.
After creating a show and splitting it into sections, it was up to the performers in their respective cities to master and polish their section. The first time we all came together as a team was the day before the audition when we weaved the sections into a seamless whole.
We auditioned and were advanced to the next round but not without some hiccups. Everyone busted their butts to prepare, including the parents of the 2 kids on the team, and we made it past the major hurdle so now it was on to the real fun.
We definitely had work to do but we proved that we could remotely create amazing coed dunk entertainment with a cast from 9 - 50 years old. All of us became even more invested in creating, on stage, the next levels of wow that were bursting out of our imaginations.
As days turned into weeks and phone calls turned into emails and enthusiasm turned into hope, we were finally given word that we would not be included in the next round.
I never quite understood the exact issue but the stage they built apparently couldn't handle 13 people and all of our equipment.
We won the battle for 13 people but lost the war.
Devastated, I made 12 phone calls thanking and encouraging the 2 parents and my teammates and then sunk into the ocean where sharks once again attacked my heart as bait.
I would do it again.
I’d make some minor changes but that process grew me and hopefully in some way grew everyone involved.
We had the audacity to dream big.
I now believe it wasn’t big enough.
We assembled committed and talented people in 4 different cities, gave them a plan and turned them loose to express their giftedness.
Who in their right mind would embark on such an endeavor?
This is territory for only those who believe in the power of a team and only those who believe in the power of a dream.
If the American freesTYle dunk community is made up of anything, it is made up of people who believe in teams and dreams.
Let’s assemble committed and talented people in 20, 30, 40, 50 different cities, take the USFDF Mission and turn them loose to express their giftedness.
Let’s team up and dream up a future where we as amateur, professional and retired dunkers inspire each other, inspire the country and reap the benefits thereof.
The United States Freestyle Dunk Federation is that future.
Uncle Slam Wants You!
I remain grateful!