Thursday, August 9, 2012

Madonna's Back-up Dancer and Me: My Journey in Working with Carlton Wilborn

As many of you know I recently hired Madonna's former back-up dancer, Carlton Wilborn, to direct my most recent music video for the song "Shout-out to the Lonely."  You can see him in just about any Madonna performance in the late 80s to the early 90s, the video for "Vogue" and Truth or Dare.  He's done a lot more things since dancing with Madonna though.  He's also a very successful actor, author, and life coach.  I didn't really know what to expect prior to meeting him, I didn't even know which dancer he was when I watched the videos I mentioned, all I knew was he came highly recommended by Walter, my manager.
Carlton reminded me of a cat.  You know how some people have personalities like cats, dogs, or birds? Carlton was definitely a cat.  He was easy to communicate with, but the moment I asked for clarification on something he would begin to get irked, and if I disagreed with a suggestion, he wouldn't let the thing go until I would reluctantly recognize his opinion.  Used to getting things my way, this was quite a challenge for me, we butted heads on a few issues.  He also hated repeating himself, I would almost feel guilty asking him to repeat things.  I often felt like a little kid around him.  However new and alien working with Carlton was though, there was a real strength in it for me.  I got a chance to work with someone who had an opinion about things, someone who knew what he wanted when he spoke and didn't hold back, and this in turn encouraged me to be more to the point in what I would say, and I think overall really boosted my confidence in my own self-worth.  When the shoot day came around I was a lot more used to Carlton's way of directing, so things went a lot smoother than expected.
Often we as people want things to be easy, we want a system of peace around us.  We avoid confrontational people because we fear the challenge will upset our balanced world.  The thing is though, we need to be challenged, we need constant challenges if we're ever going to grow and evolve as people.  Nature mimics life: think of how a body builder must constantly be pushing his or her body to the limit in order to make greater muscle gains.  The same is true of our minds: in order to get to the next stage of our lives, we need to welcome people into our lives who will challenge our beliefs and cause us to think.  The lesson I learned: always know there is a better you on the other side, but you'll never reach that you until you make an attempt to climb that mountain.

No comments:

Post a Comment