To Create Something From Nothing
Jenelle Cheyne may very well be one of my favorite people. We met back in college when I was working as a teacher's assistant for a multi-cam television production class. She was our hired talent for a haphazard student production called "Hoods" that tested the merit of its students more in the realm of humble persistence than in skills. She and I had so many laughs while working that I was convinced the choice I had made to switch schools and majors halfway through my college career was absolutely worth it.
Since those days of fun and laughter, I've had the privilege to work with Jenelle on personal video projects where we get together under the name of CHEYNE-RECHT Productions -- me with my film equipment and her with her penchant for comedy and acting -- and create videos for the sole purpose of being silly and having fun (and learning a little bit more about each of our trades). There is no money to be made, no fame to be cultivated. We just do for the sake of doing because it's what we love.
Recently I went to another friend's free comedy variety show in a literal apartment-turned-performance-space in Wrigleyville where my boyfriend and I watched the very talented Martin Luther Kings of Comedy perform to a packed house. PBR flowed like water and the laughter was riotous. Leaving that night refreshed my appreciation and devotion to one's craft with no immediate rewards, except for the currency of friendship and laughter.
Beyond the comedy and absurdity, I currently work with another classmate-turned-valued-cohort, Lauren Pecson, to help produce documentary pieces on social issues under the branding of Hidden Human. Most recently, Lauren and her fellow cameramen travelled to Winona County, MN to film a story I helped to produce about those affected by the ravishes of silica sand mining. All of this travel funded out of pocket by those valiant production people; all the time spent developing the stories, unbilled.
Reminiscing on the reward of laughter, cheering, or thoughtful consideration of all of these personal projects I've seen or been a part of, I realized how valuable these experiences really are. No, we aren't making money. And yes, it is a challenge sometimes. But without these experiences, I find it hard to believe an artist can really be called an artist. Until you are willing to put in extra time after work, or spend the weekend putting in 12 plus hours for your craft, or build up your portfolio for hours on end in order to get it just right, there won't be that sense of appreciation and priceless value of knowing you've created something from nothing.
You can find the latest CHEYNE-RECHT video, "The Bus Stop", by clicking here.
You can find out more about the MLKs of Comedy by visiting their Facebook page.
And you can discover the power of the individual with Hidden Human on our website (coming soon).