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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Through the Photographers Lens

Welcome to Through the Photographers Lens,

In this week’s post I thought I would talk about knowing ones limits. There comes a time in everyone’s life where they come to an understanding of life, purpose, talents and limits for and about themselves. I remember as a child growing up in the church, a very kindly, sweet choir director, whom I still hold in the highest regard to this day, had to bite her bottom lip to stop herself from laughing at a young lady who had butchered “Amazing Grace” with such veracity and self adulation that we thought she was joking. Me, being Mr. Maturity at the time, fell out of the pew laughing. In a display of absolute grace, poise respect for her craft the choir director just looked at the young lady and said in a very calm and stalwart voice, “Dear Heart, that is not your gift!”

We are all blessed with all sorts of gifts and are obligated to build and cultivate these gifts into talents and touch peoples’ lives for good with them. A very simple premise that gets overlooked time and time again by far too many people on far too many occasions. I was recently asked to photograph a casting call for an upcoming television show and found myself thinking back to that dear sweet choir director. Everything from rappers, singers, thespians and models all auditioned and certainly gave it what they called their best. In being professional, I can’t mention names nor can I let loose the comedy express in the middle of a shoot. Believe me, they worked hard to get their tickets though!

We auditioned an absolutely beautiful young lady with perfect skin and form who was a gangster rapper, a young male rapper with an interesting look and “swagger” about him who could really sing and a woman (I know you’re not going to believe this) in a cow hide print, fur covered swim suit and inflatable guitar complete with cowgirl hat, who sang the complete Stephanie Mills catalog as a medley while dancing. Did I mention the cow hide print, fur covered bathing suit? These were just a few of the folk that graced the stage that day. Sadly, this is happening all over the world in auditions and showcases everywhere. Meanwhile, there is someone in a karaoke bar right now singing their heart out and bringing tears to the eyes of all in attendance with their rendition of Roberta Flacks “Killing me softly”.

What makes these auditions so funny are the attitudes of the untalented. It almost seems like they are so untalented that their real talent is convincing people, sight-unseen, that they have talent and that the industry is at fault because they have not been picked up yet. I think one of my favorite untalented remarks is “How much are you going to pay me when I finish dazzling with this?” We let her sign and swing her lace front wig, with the lace front still showing, around for what turned out to be ten minutes. She danced and even performed a rather odd cartwheel toward the end, and when the music finished (yes she had ten minutes of nonstop music, we were amazed) a hush fell over the room like Granny walked out of the washroom with her shirt neatly tucked inter her pantyhose and wet feet. No one knew what to say or do and the cherry on the icing of the cake of her audition was when she bellowed “CHEAH!” into the microphone (yes that’s how it is spelled) and dropped it.

Folks, it’s time that those of us who understand what talent is and what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry to stand up and in one loud resounding voice let the untalented know, “THAT IS NOT YOUR GIFT!!!”

What are your thoughts?

Rahim Baskett


MindSoulVision Photography




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