Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The “It” Factor

On Sunday evening, I treated a girlfriend and her children to see Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”. My expectations consisted of experiencing a journey through his career from boyhood through adulthood. You may be asking yourself “didn’t Antonio read the reviews or watch the news to know that this was about Michael’s last performance?”

Well, for the record, I don’t read reviews.

I’ve always been of the opinion that when it comes to art, other’s opinions are to be respected, but mine is the only one that matters…to me. I will be the judge of what I consider being good or bad art. I guess this view is a product of my environment – having been raised on a small island bustling with talent without access to the right costumes, stage setting, lighting, etc.

As a result, I developed the ability to identify raw talent without all the fluff while being protective of my own opinion. Anywho, we arrived at the theater on 42nd Street and got comfortable with all the fat free goodies AMC had to offer. [burp] What seemed like a never-ending barrage of advertisements and movie previews gave us time to catch up and share in our excitement to see “This Is It”.

All of a sudden, there he was. It was as if nothing had changed and he was still with us. His voice was as strong as ever, triggering emotions of great joy and inspiration. He performed and performed – his musicians and dancers all uniting to hopefully produce an event that would once again change the way we experienced music and dance through the eyes of the King of Pop.

If I were to use two words to describe seeing MJ perform, they would have to be the “ultimate escapism”.

As a child growing up in Trinidad, I was surrounded by African and Indian dance and music. So escaping in Michael’s performance was not difficult. What I considered most enjoyable was the audience participation as if we were watching a live performance. We clapped, we cheered, we oohd and ahhd ; there were even moments when you’d hear “you go Michael”.

I must confess, at one point I screamed “hells to the no”. It was just so damn good…all of it!

I do know that there was a lot of editing and I probably saw the best footage captured. Regardless, what I experienced was the same thrill I experienced 12 years ago when I saw him perform in Munich. The man is easily one of my biggest sources of inspiration. His music and moves actually make me want to do my best with L-O-V-E.

At one point he turned to his dancers and said “give the audience what they want; they want to escape. It’s about escapism.” I can relate to that on a very deep level. Who does not want to escape sometimes? After trying many different ways to escape, MJ’s music is still the easiest. And now back to my biggest L-O-V-E – doing hair.

I wish you all a safe way to escape!



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