Friday, January 20, 2012
Last Thursday night (Jan. 12) we had such a marvelous time at the Tango Club with documentary filmmaker Keith Famie! Keith is currently filming his new documentary "The Embrace of Aging - the male perspective of growing old." Two of our "veteran" tangueros (with at least 12 years of Argentine Tango experience) Matt Grasso and Eph Shulman arrived before the milonga for their interviews, and Keith also filmed them dancing. Eph danced with his lovely wife Helen, and Matt danced with me! I really enjoyed that. Keith also filmed a brief interview with long-time tanguera, Alla Peluchiwski, as several couples danced in the background.
Keith just posted an article about his Naples Tango Club visit with many photographs from our evening together. Here is his article, entitled "Tango into your 90's": http://embraceofaging.com/01-12-2012.html
Regarding my own interview with Keith an hour before the others arrived, I was expecting a different experience! I usually interview very easily; you probably have a sense of how much I love to write on topics about which I'm passionate, and I love to talk about them even more! I've been interviewed about tango many times for Italian TV and newspapers, and for SW Florida newspapers and magazines. Usually the interviewer has prepared a series of open-ended questions and I can just get inspired and talk away, having great freedom to express myself any way I like. Either the delivery to the audience is live, and when it's done we're done, or the journalist knows how to then utilize my content to best serve the focus of his article.
But interviewing with Keith for his film was the most challenging interview I've ever experienced! This was not a standalone piece, like the others, but a part of a much larger whole - a documentary film - with its own, big message. Keith explained that he is "building a story" as he creates his film, and he wanted to interweave my message and our shoot with Naples tangueros with other parts of his film. So with each question, he coached me on how he needed me to deliver my response. My challenge was to be completely authentic while remaining conscious of the role of my response in his film. Since our respective messages are in harmony, it was a wonderful experience. "Collaborative co-creation" usually is!
Here's Keith telling me exactly how he needs me to deliver my message!
When he left, Keith expressed absolute delight at how our interviews and the filming went that evening, and said he will be excited to send me our segment when it's been edited! (I'll surely be proud to post Keith's clip on my website.)
A photographer from the Naples Daily News was also present to shoot for a prominent story this week about Keith's film and the role of several Neapolitans in it, primarily Robert Nichols, a decorated Vietnam War hero who is now fighting cancer. Reporter Laura Gates interviewed me by phone that morning for the same article, and I shared my views on tango and masculinity, and on what tango does for men's wellbeing. Here's a link to the online article:
Keith said that "The Embrace of Aging" will premiere in November of this year, possibly in Naples! I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to be part of Keith Famie's important work.