So, the "In a world..." dude is dead.
Don LaFontaine, "The voice of God", died and took with him a large slice of Americana. He was that stamp of approval... You want to sell someone something, you want someone to believe in its value... get big Don to put his bass on it. Don made it official. He made it true.
Someone who can do that, can communicate authenticity in that way, becomes a valuable part of your life... your real life.
I mean, who are we really? Are we the guy wearing the uniform, speaking acceptable terms in acceptable minimalist fashion, hoping to get through our eight hours, without incident... or are we the other guy... the one that yells at the big screen at the bar when his team is getting stomped, and wishes somebody would...
What is our real world? Who has that voice there?
I met Demetrius Collins in the mid 90's. I was an artist on staff at a new comic book company, and Demetrius, who preferred the moniker "Chuck", was an intern.
He was a fiery, physical, extremely talented, artist with a strange obsession for Heavy Metal... who was way more comfortable in his skin than any teenager had a right to be. There were a few interns working for that company at that time and Chuck would become the focal point of that group. Although they were each special individuals in their own way, they all seemed to gravitate to and around him, and that magnetism would spread to even the more difficult employees of the company itself.
In time, each of those interns would become very influential in different areas of media entertainment... an award-winning television producer, a highly acclaimed sports photographer, and a story editor for major movie studio.
I would not run in to Chuck until some years later, and was glad to see that he hadn't changed at all. Well, maybe that's not entirely true. His artistic skills had evolved... he had actually developed and published his own comic book, and had become a rather skilled animator. I would come to learn that he was quite respected in that artistic community, with his own significant following.
Chuck physically had grown quite a bit as well. He was now Big Chuck, and in addition to his artistic endeavors, he moonlighted as a bouncer in a NYC nightclub.
I found this particularly interesting in that, although he had physical presence, the Chuck that I knew was a gregarious, unassuming individual, the kind of person that people just liked being around... that they trusted... not the typical aspect that one would ascribe to "that" profession. I knew a little bit about that job, having also spent some time as a bouncer. I wondered about how Chuck was able to assume what I believed to be the necessary demeanor.
As fate would have it, Chuck and I would later work on a couple of art projects together. Teacher and pupil became peers as I was pleased to find how much artistic expertise he brought to the drafting table. It wasn't until later that the full roll reversal would become complete.
After working on a project, Chuck invited me to visit him at a bar that he was currently working at on the weekends. As I was already going to be in that area, I thought, why not, I get to see the dark side... this might be entertaining.
When I pull up to the Bar, I see Chuck shooing some people from the entrance. Yeah, typical, but a little different. See, there's a business to be run here and people just wanted to hang around Chuck at the door. It looked like some old school, E.F. Hutton type nonsense where everybody just gathers around waiting to hear what the broker is going to say.
Only this time the broker is a bouncer.
Chuck had become "that" dude with the bass.
People listened to him, trusted his opinions and literally waited to be validated. His demeanor did not change, everyone else's did... and in his humility, he didn't even notice.
The NYC bar scene is famous around the globe. It is where real life happens in the city of a million stories. When Chuck told me he was working on BOUNCE, I thought, perfect, who better to tell them then "that" guy.
I mean who are we really? Turns out that we are the ones who end up waiting to see what the Bouncer has to say. But there's just one problem.
Who's gonna play him in the movie?