166. Pocket & Flow with Luther Brown

March 15, 2023 00:53:25
166. Pocket & Flow with Luther Brown
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
166. Pocket & Flow with Luther Brown

Mar 15 2023 | 00:53:25


Show Notes

Today Luther Brown joins me on the pod! Luther has worked with some of the greatest artists of our time - Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Megan Thee Stallion, Ciara, and more. He also had his hand in a multitude of tv shows and movies. Today we focus in on where Luther got started, how he would describe his movement, and what his future looks like! Please enjoy this conversation with Luther Brown.


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Episode Transcript

Transcript: Intro: Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you, get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Dana: Hello my friend, and welcome Towards that Move me. Wow, <laugh>. Wow, wow, wow, wow. I am so lucky to have our guest today. Uh, our guest this week is Luther Brown, and I am giggling just thinking about it. Uh, I'm Dana, by the way, don't remember if I said that part or not. Stoked that you're here. Um, stoked to have Luther. He is a choreographer of the stage, the screen and superstars like Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson, Diddy JLo, Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee, stallion, Lizzo. The list goes on and on and on and on. Uh, but truly, if I were to, if I, if I had to declare, the most remarkable thing about Luther is certainly not his resume. It is his laugh and his spirit, his ability to create laughter. <laugh>. Um, you are absolutely gonna love this. I had such a ball having this conversation with Luther, and I cannot wait to share it. But first, let's do some wins. We start every episode off with wins. And this week, y'all <laugh> it's that win that I am celebrating today, a negative Covid test. Yay. It's 2023 and this stuff is still getting us. Uh, yeah, she got me, she got me again. Uh, actually like a year ago. I had Covid for the first time. This one was far less intrusive time-wise and respiratory wise. Um, I am really hoping that we can all be done with this thing very soon. I'm hoping that you are healthy and I'm reminded of my human weakness and also my human strength. So thank you for that. C o d I am ready to get back out there into the world. That is me. That's what's going well in my world. Now you go hit me with what is going well, and say it, say it out loud. Say it proud. (wins music) … Yay. All right, my friend. Congratulations. I'm proud of you. I'm glad that you are winning, and I am virtually high fiving you. I just did it with my arm. Could you hear it if I do it really fast? <laugh>. Okay. That's it. Let's get into it. Uh, Luther was kind enough to join me this morning on an early interview before a full day of rehearsal, and I'm so glad that he did because man, that really set my day off right, <laugh>, I hope this sets your day off right, or closes it outright or, uh, resets it right in the middle. All of that movers and shakers. Please welcome all the way from Jamaica, by way of Toronto, by way of New York, by way of la straight to your speakers, headphones, stereo, whatever it is. The one, the only Luther Brown. Dana: Welcome to words that move me. Thank you for being here. Luther: Anytime. Please. It's my pleasure. Dana: I think this is long overdue, and this is no small stuff. You are a two-time Emmy nominated choreographer. You are one of my favorite. Not just choreographers, but like, just watching you get down and watching you be in your element. It makes me so, so, so happy. Um, and I'm genuinely sad, shocked, even that out of our like, kind of tangential solar systems, we've got the Marty Monsters solar system. We've got Mandy Zoe's solar system. I don't think you and I have ever professionally crossed paths, have We? Never. And that's crazy to me. Crazy to me. It's literally crazy. It's truly insane. I'm, I'm voicing it now to the world. This will not be much longer my friend. So today's is the podcast. Tomorrow and Beyond is the rest of our professional lives doing cool stuff? Yes. Um, yes. Okay. So Stokes, you're here already teasing ear to ear. This is gonna be great. Tradition on the podcast. Okay. All of my guests introduce themself. So I will yield the floor and let you tell us anything you would like us to know about you. About me. First of all, my name is Luther Brown. Um, I'm a Jamaican that moved to Toronto, that moved to New York that now lives in la. So I've feel like I've been around the world. I'm like a, I'm like, I was like immigrant citizen, immigrant citizen, immigrant citizen. But we're here. That rhythm though, <laugh> is pretty impressive because I know that that's hard to accomplish even in one place. So Yes. Yes. Let's talk about that. What was early? So you're born in Jamaica? Yeah, born. I born and raised in Jamaica. Um, I left Jamaica in grade five. Okay. So then I moved to Toronto. Um, never saw snow in my life. I was just gonna say, what is that shock? Like? Yes. What is that? Even like Shock? Yeah. I just saw white and I was like, I need to jump in <laugh> without, Without knowing <laugh>, without knowing. I mean, <laugh>, It looks cool, but it's cold, you know what I'm saying? But, um, it was such a, cause I've always done trips to Toronto mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I was a kid, but never in the winter. Oh, my and my dad went to school. He went to University of Wisconsin, super random. Okay. And he was, and um, he used to send pictures back and there's a picture with him on this balcony and there was snow. And I remember I was like, what is that? He was like, it's, it's snow and it's cold. And I was like, bring some back so I could see it. And clearly Clutches pearls. That's adorable. Yep. You know, I wanna see it, I wanna touch it, Bring It back. I wanna, yeah, I wanna, I wanna experience it. And then, um, he was just like, no, I can't bring it back. I was sad and all that, but then I really got to feel it when I got there. And it was the coldest day. It was the coldest day in, I think, Toronto scene, the, the day I traveled to Toronto. Okay. You're a person of extremes. Luther is what I'm hearing. <laugh>. Yeah. You Went from no, literally yes. From Jamaica straight. It was to, it was, it was, uh, I think sep it was September, not September. It was December. Was it December 25th? If it was Christmas day, it might have been like Christmas Eve, like around there. It was frozen, the floor was white. You know, when, when in Toronto, when you, when you know the floor is white, it's when you know it's cold. Yes. Ooh, Luther. Okay, so question. Yeah. Did you, did you already have family in Toronto? You said you had done a couple trips back and forth? Yes, Yes. Okay. My grandmother, my mom's mother lived in Toronto and some of her brothers and sisters had moved to Toronto prior to us going mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Okay. So you're, uh, you're in fifth grade, you're living in Toronto. How do you find like a belo, a sense of belonging? Did you find it in school? Did you find it in extracurriculars? Was it the family sense? Like where did you, where did you find that? I found, Or did you, I guess might be the question. It was, it was, it was definitely the family first because, um, the first couple years I was there, I wasn't really allowed to do too many things because the papers were being worked out. Oh, I see. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. But I was in school, which is, yeah, my parents are Gs they, they made it work. They figured that out and I was in public school, so I didn't miss a year. I didn't miss, I didn't go back a year. Cuz in Jamaica we, our school system is kind of on point. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, but I remember, I remember like, cause we weren't really allowed to go too many places, but when I was at school, first of all, I was the kid with that weird accent, you know what I'm saying? So they were, they were trying to comfort me with us. <laugh>. Oh no, I'm imagining, although I must say I've never met a Canadian, I don't like, like they're not notorious for being bullies, although I'm sure they do exist. <laugh> Canadians are quite kind in my experience. Listen, But I'm sure you were othered and, and like I can only imagine that transitional period of like being in your place at that age. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when a lot is going on inside your, your world. Um, yes. I'm glad to hear that you had family and I'm glad to hear. So, I understand your dad worked in radio. Was that even that early on? Yes. Or was that a later? Yes. No, my dad worked in the radio. Actually. My dad worked in radio in Jamaica on a, on a, on a big radio station and Okay. Um, they used to, I mean, my dad was into music and was, you know, interviewing a lot of people and stuff. So I was around a lot of, you know, um, regular greats when I was young. Like I would be at rehearsals and stuff. It's funny cuz you know, I write, I write music and I used to, I love writing music and, um, I'm thinking, I mean, looking back now mm-hmm. <affirmative>, of course I love harmonies. Cause I was always in these rehearsals with, you know, the eye trees and you hearing horses, Griffin and everybody singing. And, and so I think I was around that a lot and I, I just picked it up. Didn't, no, I was picking it up. I picked it up. Yeah. So, um, and my dad always had music at the house. Always. Yeah. He had, you know, you get your, your, your dj so you get records, they send you stuff. So my dad always had that. And, um, when he was on the radio, I used to have to go, he's, it's Sundays, it was Sundays, Sunday nights is called Caribbean Crucible. It was a, it was the, it was a, it was a really popular show. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, <laugh>, I used to have, I used to go up there and work with him, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the kid, you're like, oh, ah, I gotta carry the records. Yes. I had to label the records or I had to like, <laugh>, you know, commercials, like with commercial time, I had to put the thing in the commercial thing and Oh, I love the parents that put their kids to work. I just have to say that. Oh, I love that so much. <laugh>. He put me to work and I had to like, log in all the stuff and, but what was cool was the station, cuz he, his show started I think eight o'clock mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, so sometimes I would bring my friends there, Uhhuh <affirmative>, and they had like two different rooms. So while my dad was doing his thing in that room, sometimes I would sneak into the other room with my friends and all the records were there. So we used to play records and there was an open studio. So we used to pretend we were DJing and stuff. So I think I thought it was a chore then. Yeah, Yeah, yeah. But then as, as it went on, I realized, um, it was a blessing cuz it taught me so many things and, and, and we're able to listen to so many records cuz we're in the radio station. All their catalog was in there. Oh my god. What a, a candy store. So it was cool. Yeah. So I'm glad that you brought up the songwriting thing because something I'm interested in. Well, uh, where do I begin here? Uh, what's the, what's the entryway? I'm actually shocked that more choreographers aren't musicians slash songwriters because especially in working with the Choreographers Guild lately, we are trying to introduce ourselves to real, to people who really have no idea what a choreographer does. As the writers of movement, it makes a lot of sense to me. Thousand percent. Yeah. But I'm shocked that not more choreographers how intimate we are with music. I'm shocked that not more of us have actual songwriting or musicianship skills. Um, but it makes, it's no shock at all that that's so deeply ingrained in what you do. Cause your movement is so rhythmical. It is so music first. At least that's how it seems on the outside. Um, is that how you create, is it always music first? Uh, yes, it is. Um, I mean, sometimes there's stories, you know, there's a, there's a, you know, you have a concept, you have a certain story that you have to tell mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But for me it's always, you know, it's definitely the, it's definitely the music. And because it's funny, now I'm talking about, I'm thinking about it. It's, um, because I hear things, I hear melodies, I hear harmonies, uhhuh, <affirmative>. I hear, I hear all the different arrangements. Yeah. I, I hear that right away. I hear every snare, every kick, but I hear different things. So Does your brain separate it like that? Yes It separates. Then when I hear it, I'm just like, like the base hits me in a certain way. And then sometimes that's where I start the story. Or you know, sometimes it's the, it's, it's it's lyrics, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I definitely create my own melodies within the melodies. Yeah. Right. Your choreography harmonizes with the music. That's how it looks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That's so awesome. Yeah. That's, that's how I, that's how I, um, do it. I will say, I, I have always said that Marty’s ears should, they're, they should have a million dollar insurance policy. <laugh>. Like I've, first Of all, Yeah, let's go. Marty, Marty is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I think for people who don't know us or don't don't know us together mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's like the most unlikely matchup in the history of matchups. But in the weirdest way, it's the best matchup. We have the best time. So much respect for that guy. Oh. And how he hears, he hear things and, and he's his own being and he will forever hear it. And that's what he's gonna do. Oh, yes. And it's so much respect for that guy. I have so much respect for that guy. Yeah. He has taught me most of everything that I know about, uh, about touring life and other industry work outside of touring and pop star stuff. But one of the biggest takeaways, I think is the discipline he has with music and the way you explain it and the way it happens for him. I'm not sure if it's the same if it comes in that way mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I know that he will sit with a song. Uh, it's, it's possible that he has listened to certain songs more than the people who created them <laugh>. Like I I know, I Know I do. That too is funny. I do that too. I do that, that too. Like when I look at those play counts on Spotify, I'm like, Ooh, maybe I should fall back. <laugh>. This is a lot. But it seems like I, I do think he has a gift in his ear is insane. But I also know that there's discipline there. Um, and I think it, it sounds like the same is true for you, but I'm really envious of that upon input ability to separate. I don't know if I have that. I feel like, I don't know if I have that. It really takes a long time for me to parcel things out. And I used to get really insecure about that in a, in a circle. Like when I was free styling. Right. Because I found myself, like when I, in my early days of like, I would film sessions and just watch myself and criticize, like rip myself apart. Um, oof. It's a tough one. It is a tough one. We can talk about it. Um, one of the things I noticed about myself is that I was just a four on the floor. It took a lot for me to have variations to leave. To leave that heartbeat. Yes. Which I, which I now don't think is a bad thing. Like, it's lovely to have a heartbeat, but no, cause You are, we're not even talking about your movement. Cause you Oh my God, <laugh>, you're like a, it's like, there's like dancers and then there's like artists. You know what I'm saying? You're like an artist. Whoa. No. You, you, you literally carve out shapes of your own and it's kind of, it's kind of impressive. It's very impressive. Thank you. Luther hundred flushing, <laugh> <laugh>. No, it's real. I think it's possible. You know how, like, I don't know about you, but I'm a middle child and I think we all develop characteristics that like help us kind of survive in our place. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I became a really good mediator cuz I have a older sister and a younger brother. So I'm really good at seeing other points of view. I'm like, oh yeah, that can be true. And also he can be that, you know, that also can be true. Right. Right, right. I'm pretty good at that. And I think one of my early on dance stories about myself, which might have been a lie, but it's what I believed is that I was not a technician. I didn't have high legs. I didn't have good turns. I didn't have great feet. And so I became a styl. Uh, oh. What's the, what's the opposite of a technician? Like a stylish, A stylish, a styl. A stylized, I would say. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. But style became my strength. And so when I, when my young dancer self became introduced to Marty and his work, I was like mm-hmm. <affirmative> that because it is, that's the one 100% style. Style. Yes. I can't say there's not technique actually. Yes. A lot of Marty's calls on, you're gonna her, you're gonna do a rest. There is technique in a lot of everything, But Oh, that's true. There is technique in everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But what spoke to me most about his work is that it was all about style and all about you is probably why it took to it so strongly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yes. It's, it's funny because when you step back and look at it, it is 100%, uh, style about it. Hostile you. Yes. The individual. It's very individual, but it's still unison. But it's, but it's, but it's, it's individual. Yes. Okay. We're gonna turn the lens now Luther, we're gonna, I wanna have that same conversation, like as if we were talking about someone else. How would you explain your work? Like if Marty's work is all about style, what is yours all about? Um, mine is all about, um, damn, damn. I would, you know what? That's tough. It's hard to look at yourself in your work that way. It is. Um, I think mine is is about, I would probably say pocket. Pocket and, um, pocket and flow. Because I love a, um, when I, when I choreograph stuff for, like, for example, I'm working on a project right now and, you know, I threw a whole, like, we did a whole bunch of things, threw a whole bunch of steps and I was just like, and they were, and they were having difficulty catching a certain part. And I was like, no, but guys, I don't want you to fight to catch it. It has to feel good. So if you have to fight to catch it, then it means it probably isn't it, like, for me, if it feels good in your body, you know, like I, I, I a hundred percent choreograph for what it looks like, but I I'll, but in that hundred percent of what it looks like for me, it has to be what it feels like. If I, if I can't mark it and feel it still, like, like love the transition of it, or love the, the, you know, the abs absent flows and ups and downs or whatever, then it's like, no, we could fight and make it and it'll look right. It'll mathematically look right. But when it doesn't feel right, there's, there's something that your face can't fake. You know what I'm saying? And when it feels right, there's something that makes you just sell it more because it feels right. So I'm I'll definitely, I'm definitely, um, I think that's probably the best way to put it. It's, um, um, it's, it's a pocket for me and it's the flow for me. I mean precision, but it's, but it's the pocket and flow. It really does have all of those parts. I feel like, I feel like what your work does well, if I may say, is that it has precision without compromising soul, which I feel like I appreciate. Like it has. And that's one thing that I feel like is either there or it's not and or, or it's kind of a one or the other. But yours has both. And your dancers, the people that you, you know, surround yourself by and the people I am most accustomed to watching do your work Yes. Are also people who have both. And so that's a wonderful, like, signature to have. But, um, I love this idea of flow and being able to mark something. And if it doesn't feel good when you're marking it, it's not it. Yeah. That just blew my whole mind open. I love that thought. <laugh>. I love that thought. Okay. Because No, it's real though. But you are an aesthetic person. Like you are, you understand that dance is a visual medium and then it has to look good. And that y Yes. Bonus feeling good is the icing. Yes. Like, it's like Yes. It's what makes it punch you in the guts. Yes. But one of the things I've been really digging, having you in the, uh, choreographer's guild, executive board meetings lately. This, by the way, I could listen to you talk in there forever. I really, I love hearing your voice because it's great voice number one. But I love hearing what you have to say. I'm so grateful you're there. That's part one. And I think you're really attuned to how things look like. But not just the line, the angle, but what message does that say? What does that, what is the message of that thing? Um, this is, I genuinely am curious. Do you have experience with like graphic design, marketing, some sort of visual space? Cuz I know you're a music down, but like, um, where does that part come from? You know, I don't, I've, I, growing up, I, I used to do art. I love to draw mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I love to draw and sketch and, um, I've always been, I don't know, I don't know. It's, it's like a naturally, I feel like, first of all, I feel like I'm a natural a and r I dunno where it comes from. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. I just somehow, I just know how to see a person, see an artist, and know what things can happen and sound and what images and I don't know. I just find, I hear that. Um, but I also, I've always been into fashion and art and just lines and shapes and what and how to put stuff together. Yeah. I never took a course mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I never took a course about it. Um, I stopped doing art early because my parents were Jamaican parents and it's very, you know, we lo we, I love them down. Uhhuh, <affirmative>, you know, now they look back and they're probably like, they're probably like, wow, we were wild. Um, yep. But my, all my art books thrown away, you know, ripped up and stuff. Wow. Certain things. Um, so I didn't get to pursue it more mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I think probably if I did, maybe I would've taken a course in graphic. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I do love it. Yeah. My brother, my, my brother naturally has that and he does cool graphic design. Yeah. So I think it's, it's in us somewhere. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But I never really, I never explored it He never really got the, the nuts and bolts of it. Yeah. But think, Well it's so natural, creative directing people. Right. But in creative directing, I think I use that part of it Totally. You understand the components of a visually aesthetic, like an aesthetically pleasing thing. Um, and it's such a cool gift also to see the potential in someone, to have enough imagination to see, we'll call it a blank canvas, but you have a human being in front of you and that human being has a voice. Yeah. And the three-dimensional person, plus the sonic person goes into your brain, into your eyes and your ears and into your brain. And it works out this like equation and then outcomes, something different. And I think that is the coolest thing. Do you enjoy that type of work as much as you enjoy choreographing? I do. Artist development. I do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I love it. I love it. I think, um, I think because I naturally get draw, I just do that. Yeah. I feel like, I feel like it's that playtime. Ooh. Yes. It's like playtime a little bit Versus work. I have always felt like choreography is work. It has never been easy or natural or fun to me. It is not, it is not play most of the time. Unless I'm with my seaweed sisters. Uh, Megan, first Of all, let's not talk about the three of y'all. <laugh>. Oh, let's, I think we should. It's totally, what do you think The Seaweed Sisters. <laugh>? I, I love it. Cause there's nothing like it Uhhuh, that's literally true. Literally there's nothing like it. And all three of you are so unique. It's crazy. And when you guys get together, It's a lot. It's like, you know what it's like, it's, it's like, it's like <laugh>. Ok. You know how there was the, there was the Brat pack there, there was the rat pack. Yes. How each of them were so different, but they just get it. Wow. Like when they're together, they're just get it. It's like, it's like watching the, the Carol Burnett show. I was a fan of the Carnet show work. Wow. Great. First of all, nice. When my dad, yo, I have to give it to my parents because you know what your parents watch is what you watch when you're growing Up. Yeah. You were exposed to some really good stuf. So I was exposed to some really cool shit and didn't even know it. Um, but like the Cow Burnett show, you know how like, when you see her and her cold stars Yes. Together. Yes. And it's just like you said, perfect. Y'all are like literally synergy. It's, it's crazy. Thank you. I will take it. It's crazy. And I agree. I do think it's crazy. I, I think in our case, one plus one plus one equals like 3 million <laugh>. Yes. It really is like the, the togetherness of us is greater than us as individuals. I'm so glad that you, that you enjoy our work. And I think you're right. At least, at least I haven't found anything that we are like, and one of our favorite questions to get is, what is this? Like, what exactly is this? We're still nobody else is funny answer. Nobody else is that. But it, it's not even just about the steps either and about the, y'all are the whole brand. Like it's what the colors are, it's what the look is. It's what, how we shooting it. It's, it's literally it's own brand. It's crazy. Well, coming from you that means so very much. Thank you. Crazy. We don't plan on stopping. And actually we're really excited about kind of doubling down our efforts into what we're making and maybe we could survey you and your a and r brain about, about thoughts about that <laugh>. Oh my gosh. Let's go <laugh>. Let us go. This is what I love. Okay. So I also, I think like you, I also wear many hats and there are things that come really naturally to me, um, that I, that I kind of enjoy. Like I've always loved starting a thing like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, starting a club, starting a show, starting a podcast, starting a, I had a web series for a while. I think starting has been a strength of mine for a long time. Finishing on the other hand, like shipping, delivering. I didn't get really good at that until like 2014. I did a, a year of daily videos on Instagram, little 15 second blurbs. And I got good at shipping. And I think I got, I got good at this small bite thing, this like Instagram size thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then I had this other side of my life that was, you know, touring with jt, doing the films, doing the big, big budget stuff. And I think what Seaweed Sisters has sort of done is filled in this middle space that's like, we have the freedom of not having to answer to a studio or a director. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well we do have directors, but they're usually our very close friends. We don't have to answer to a line producer. And it's also bigger, a bigger bite, more substantial impact. At least that's the way I'm thinking about it. It's like this really cool middle space of my creative forms of expression. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I love that. And now we're like, let's make money at that <laugh>. There we go. There we have it. Let's take that middle space and turn it into a lucrative place. Yes. So we're on it. Stay on, be on the look out. Well, I'm excited. I'm excited for all of it. Cuz it's, I think it's like, it's like so much bigger. It's so much bigger than what people might think it is. I think it's like, I think it's so much bigger. I think it's like, it's, it's for every screen motion picture, it's for television, it's for everything. It's For little, little kiddos. Yeah. It's literally everything. Yeah. This is turned into one of my favorite episodes. We're just patting me and the seaweed sisters on the back. No, but it's real though. This is amazing. And I, you know, Jillian, you know I've gotten to know Jillian. Yes. I've known her for, for a while. Yes. But we really gotta connect even more in, in Vancouver. Yes. Tell me your, tell me all about it. love her. I love her down to the ground. Okay. First of all, we laugh all around all the time. Yes. She catches my jokes all the time. <laugh> every time I catch a joke. And I, because you know my issue as a kid and I was all my friends noticed in since I was in grade one. Okay. <laugh>. I had a, I had a laughing problem. I was, I was the kid that you could tell the whisper the joke to and then couldn't, he would, he couldn't stop laughing and he would be the one to get in trouble and the whole class would know that. And that was me. Oh, so you are not the one that's laughing, but you're the causer of the laughter. No, No, no, no. I'm the laughing guy. I'm the one that can't stop laughing. Okay. So he used to write, write little stupid notes and pass it and I'd be like, and then I start laughing and then I'll be in trouble. So, but Jillian always catches me laughing at something. Oh yes. And she's just a, I don't know, she's a sweet human. She’s a, she's a rascal. That one. But she's like a troublemaker. But she is everything. I don't know. Yes, yes. She's everything. And she understands a lot more than people know. She understands. Yes. Culturally, she gets a lot of different cultures and she gets it and Yeah. It's crazy. It's crazy. You get crazy Jillian Meyers, you really do. I'm looking at you and I'm hearing what I'm saying and I'm like, yeah, No to the ground. Okay. We could call this, we could call this episode dedication to Jillian Meyers in the season. <laugh>. Oh, she really gets it. She's quick as shit. She is smart. She is worldly. She is sensitive in a great way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she is strong in so many ways. I'm, I also that team y'all together plus Mandy at the helm. I'm just kind of rocked the, the Earth didn't implode on itself. That's who it was such, it was such a good time. I was nervous. I was nervous. Why were you nervous? You know, what were the thoughts? Always, always. Because I know Mandy from before from So You things, so we've always been around each other laughed and stuff, but I never worked with her, you know, working with somebody's different than true when you's hang out. Right. And I was like, damn, okay. She's a genius. I'm like, I don't know. I hope I don't mess her process. I don't know what she, my process is different. Her, I'm like, how is this gonna work? Is it, you know, cause I respect her so I don't wanna like step in and do anything. So it was, it was, and I was like, let me, She also had a well-oiled machine. That show was like pretty well ironed out. And you had a new component well ironed out. Yeah. So I would come. So when, when it came and I saw them and I saw how they had it set up on it. But they were so, they were so sweet and they were so like inviting. So it didn't, I didn't feel crazy, which thank the Lord. And the process was, was it was dope. Cause I, cause I've known Jeff from certain in Canada. Uhhuh <affirmative>. Uhhuh <affirmative>. Right. So I've known him from the, and obviously I knew Jillian from Janet when we worked, when I worked with them and, but we haven't like done a job like this together. Right. So this was like the first time in a while for everything. And I was just like, Ooh, how is this one gonna work? Right. But it was, but it was super cool. Yeah. Cause we both understand stories and we both understand that and they let me do my thing. Yeah. And it was insane. It was insane. I'm putting it in the cards that I'll be there for the next one of those. Oh my gosh. Please. I would really love that I put them in the cards with you. I really love that. Ok. Um, okay. Tell me a little bit about, cuz I, you know, obviously Jillian and I are really close. I understood that there are a lot of differences between working in Canada and working in la. I'm curious if you have a preference cuz you've done so much of both. Hmm. There's a diff when you work in Canada, for some reason it feels a little more family. Huh? A little bit. And I don't know if it's because LA there's, it's, everyone's just in and out and moving and shaking. So it's like, it's another job type of thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when you're in Canada working on a project that's over a certain amount of time, everybody, cuz a lot of them don't get to do a lot of these projects all the time. Right. So when they get in it is, everybody is excited about it. So they just A little more precious Build a little more Yes. Yeah. In a certain way. I mean, you get it in it definitely feels a little bit more family there I think. Yeah. Yeah. You get it in blips. Yeah. I'm so curious about that. I know that they're pretty well evolved. Like the, the Canadian equivalent of Safra Yeah. Takes care of their dancers. And I think that is also a big part of it. Um, yeah. Like feeling safe, taken care of, you know? Yes. This is, this is super important and I'm so excited to be creating that for choreographers here in LA with you. Yes. With Cat Burns. With Yes. Our entire executive board in leadership. Um, like I, I guess maybe I wanna bring it home by talking about what you would like to see change. Like what is it that you want to see for choreographers for yourself here in the near future? I wanna see, um, there's so much about choreographers that people don't understand and mm-hmm. <affirmative> what the, what what, what the process is. And cuz we, we kind of touch on a lot of other people's jobs Oh my God as well. Luther. And so cause of that, because of that, the definition Yeah. Is it meets a lot of resistance and it meets a lot of, you know, um, well you guys only do this, but we really do all of that. But I want, I wanted to get to where, you know, we can get compensated not just for executing the job, but we cast, we prep before we get there. We, you know, us having to find our own people to con to like, to make up stuff before we get to a ver and I know for, for film and sometimes now certain music artists, not everybody but certain artists mm-hmm. <affirmative> give you prep, prep time. Yeah. But even that prep time is not a realistic prep time. Oh no. Because right now I'm prepping, but the artist is there so it's not a prep. Cause the artist is there, you know what I'm saying? Oh. My whole body just went into do <laugh>. You know what I'm saying? But Yeah. Which is kind of like, I get it. She wants to be inspired and she gets hyped off of energy's. That's cool. But it's like, it's not really a prep if you're here and, but 80% of artists don't even, you don't have prep time. Right. So I just wanted, I just want us on our processes to be appreciated. I want our assistants to be taken care of. I want the pre-production stuff that we do is so much more than what we are allotted. You know what I'm saying? And I want our rates to, I want our rates to reflect it. I want our names to be put in the thing. I want Credit, credit, credit recognition. Yes. Credit Recognition and guaranteed. That's what I would Oh yes. Please. Residuals like Yes, Please. I'm looking at, you know, and I've been blessed to work with some artists that were really incredible and you know, a lot of stuff that I've done for artists a long time ago, some of them still do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, which is, which is cool. I, you know, you, you're, you're flattered It has that staying power. That's cool. But it's like, you look at the musicals and every year they do that. The cor I forget their they're coin for that or Yeah. But, you know Yeah. The stage directors and chores Hours. Yeah. Usher does a certain performance every year. He does that or the, cause his classic Janet does it like, yes, Madonna does it, certain people do it cuz it's just classic stuff, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we don't get that residual. But it really is what selling your stuff and what's making it pop. So one day choreographers will get to that place. And I think the, the resistance is crazy. Cause I don't think people wanna see that. Cause Oh 100%. We would really be, we would really be a lot, our, our position would be crazy. I don't know if people are ready to accept that that's what we are. Oh. If there's one thing I have noticed about working in the entertainment industry, it's that power is not given freely mm-hmm. <affirmative> frequently or without some resistance. Um, and I do think that there's reason for certain groups to be threatened. You know, I've seen choreographers take it away on set when, when hierarchically that could be, should be the director's position. I get that there would be resistance there. That's a very real threat to have that kind of command and swing. And I, I just keep bringing it home to this thought, actually a gift from, from my husband who says, or showed me a, maybe it was a meme, I can't remember exactly how it came to me, but this, this gift that one matches flame does not take away from the light of another. Ooh, You light a match my friend. And that doesn't mean another one goes out. It doesn't mean like these, both of these things can be bright and lit up and energetic. And so Yes. I, I really hope that is what our counterparts in our, our, you know, uh, I, I hope that's what the rest of our community leaders like in our field. Yes. Other department heads, directors, producers, the studios. I hope that that is what they can all see. Um, and, but that's what I truly believe. So it's easy for me to keep shining because I believe in it. Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think it's gonna get there cuz everything took, you know, everything took years to get there. 100%. And everything takes time. This takes, it takes time. And little by little, you know, things are changing. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. It seems more people that look like me everywhere. Yes. Little, you know, um, what I do wanna see more, and this is just a me personal thing. I need, let's go to see some more. I need some more West Indians in here. I need some more people from, from the islands. Um, cuz you know, I, you know, I, I connect with all the culture with a lot of cultures and stuff, but being here without a lot of my West Indian people, it, it's a part of me that's missing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I wish there was more of us in here. There are a lot of us in here, but I wish there's more. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah, I do. Yeah. Yeah. I think like, there's so much that can be done when we are together, when we are unified. Yes. It's one of the things I'm excited about the guild for is education and outreach opportunities. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, could you imagine if there was init an initiative when we get to the place of membership where we have funding for education and outreach. Could you imagine an initiative where you take a group of people, go out to the islands, have industry day, have some allotted amount of money where you get to bring two people back. Where you get to set up a, a school where you get to No, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. This is What's up? Okay. See, now you are, now you're in my head. Am I Inside? This is happening. Well, Cause no, I, tell me how I can help, because this is what I want. I made a pledge. I made a pledge to myself that, um, you know, cause I made a lot of changes Yeah. Mentally for how I, how I'm gonna look at approach, everything. Um, but one of the things I was like, one of my legacy moments, I need to bridge the gap between the islands and America and Canada. You know? And so, Ooh, I, I'm, I'm like starting off it's Like a bridge structure. Yes. Cause I want to, I want to, um, create, create my foundation. I have, I've, I created a name already. I started writing down certain initiatives because, you know, between, there's wardrobe, the stylists that are out there. Oh. Between Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, like Puerto Rico everywhere. Shut it down, shut it, Dominican Republic everywhere. Haiti everywhere between the wardrobe, between stylists and choreographers and dancers and, and music Musicians. People that wanna do music. People that, people that wanna write. People that write. Yes. There's so many writers out there. And I'm just like, I have to create the bridge. Like I know Adam Blackstone, he's the world's One of my favorite, Favorite. Like, he's everything. He's everything. Yeah. He, he's everything. But between all the different people that I know that are the top of the crafts and I think it's like change two people's lives. Bring them up so they can experience some, it changes everything. If like, I never had it. Nobody did that for me. You know what I'm saying? I never, I literally had to cross every bridge. Myself. Yourself. I took, I took the Greyhound buses myself. I, you know, was sweating. Every time immigration would come ask me, where are you going or what's doing, like I did all that, you know, by myself. And I wish somebody was there before that to do it. Yeah. So if I can bridge that gap and just get people to come up and I'm gonna do it, I believe you are and I am here to help. You need, you need somebody to send out emails. I will do it. You need somebody to make a spreadsheet. Listen, I will do it. You need somebody to, I don't know, help you look for travel. I will do it. <laugh>. <laugh>. I know there's a lot of stuff Look dead ass. Like if it takes, you know, as you've experienced with the guild, it takes so many people to mm-hmm. <affirmative> organize and to, there's every job that you think, like, let's, let's if we break this down into like a movie ecosystem mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if choreography is a department <laugh> and somebody thinks mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well they just choreograph it. You already know there's 25 steps between Exactly. Cast it, break down the music break, well break down the breakdown of the casting, then cast it, then figure out the music, and then mm-hmm. <affirmative> discuss wardrobe and then do eight versions and a traveling version and a wide shot version. And a, a steady cam version. Cuz you're gonna have to make room for that guy. And you're gonna like, we already know there's 45 steps to one task. The same is true in organizing. It's not as simple as it looks from the outside. It takes a village. You have my 100% full support. Oh man, I appreciate that. And for real, I mean, I know this is, this is, um, totally being dramatic now, but this podcast is an example of one of those steps. Like, I really believe that other people shouldn't have to learn the same lesson. I learned. I already learned it. I figured that out. Let me tell you how that part works. Yes. And yes with this podcast, I'm hopeful that like, that transfer of knowledge is happening even while I'm asleep. Yes. It's like the work it it's smart work because people will listen long after we've had this conversation. Yes. And, and far wider than this booth that we're in right now of just our two minds. Yes. So I really love this format because of exactly that. So That’s amazing. Yeah. I, Hey, if you ever, that's amazing. If you are ever, you should by the way. Totally. Have a podcast, <laugh>. Oh my gosh. And if you're interested, I'll tell you, I'll tell you everything I know. Oh my gosh. About how this goes. Oh, your voice. Are you kidding? Your voice alone? You could just say that ABCs and people would listen. <laugh>, Listen, my first of all, my, my father's voice is crazy. Oh I can imagine. And Cause and cause I I've always had this scratchy throat life. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And growing up telling, I was always, I've be in the bathroom like, uh mm-hmm <affirmative>, I needed to get deeper and it would never get deeper <laugh>. And I would, I would stress, I would've stressed out. I'm like, man, everybody's growing up. Everybody's voices are deeper. And I'm like, scratchy scratch nation. And I was, I used to hate it. I used to. And it's like in the booth, like when I'm like recording stuff and doing, you know, I'm doing some vocal harmonies and stuff. Uhhuh <affirmative>. I can appreciate a little bit more there. Uhhuh <affirmative>. But on the regular I'll be like, damn, I wish I had that voice. My dad has that voice. Well he's, I can, can imagine. But because I've never heard his voice. Your voice is that voice to me. Like, That's so crazy. Isn't that crazy? That the relativity, it's, yeah. Um, anyways, you are welcome here. Anytime you'd like to talk I will Oh man. Offer you anything I know about podcast stuff cuz Yeah. Getting word out, sharing what you've learned, sharing what you know, um, and sharing your hopes for the future is so important. Thank you for being here and doing that today. So appreciate you. Yes. Thank you for having me. This is when when I got that message from you, I was like, what? To join me to join me on the podcast? Yes. Oh, what is happen? This is a, I spoke, I called, I called Laurel. Laurel is my, she's not my right hand. Oh gosh. And I was like, I was like, Laurel, do you know what just happened this morning? She was like, I'm like, oh my god, quid. I go, I got asked to be on that podcast. Are you crazy? She was like, wait. I'm like, this is crazy What's happening right now. The world is really your oyster. You really just have to just take it. Oh It really Is. So this is, this is so good. This really, really is. It really is. Thank you. Thank you for being here. And thank you for mentioning Laurel's name cuz she also must be on the podcast. The, the things that she's seen in her strengths and her story and her skills. Whoa. Yes. Yes. That's special lady. Thank you Incredible woman. Incredible. And also Ava Bernstein says hi. I was on the phone with her. Right. Ah, go Ava Introvert Flava. That's what I call I Flava. Yeah. I called her fla Ava Fla. That's the name I gave her. Cuz she's the most pocketed. And that girl's hair is the most pocketed. She has the most pocketed hair movement in the history of the hair movement. I said, Ava, how does your hair always move the right way? And it always forms that. So in the pockets always be She's so that's facts. Crazy. Ava, that is nuts that you say that because you're so true. Ava's so Right. But I have never given it those words, but you're so right. It's Ava. It's Ava, Ava Fla for the the pocket. The, Oh, big love. Big love. To Ava. To the laurel to you to the seaweed sisters. Yes. To Marty. Thank you again for being here. Yes. We'll do this again sometime. Yes. Yes, yes please. Okay. Thank you once again. Audios … Dana: All right. That was a treat and a treasure. I am tickled. I am still smiling. Um, <laugh> truly probably have not laughed that hard that often in an interview maybe ever. Um, and thinking about Luther as a young, young person getting busted <laugh> for uncontrollable laughter in class. I love this. Oh I love it. Makes everything that much more fun and funny to think about that person, that young Luther. Ooh, okay, let's recap. Um, loved hearing about the way Luther sees his own work, uh, as, as pocket and flow. It really is both of those things in such powerful parts. Um, and I think it's kind of fun and cool and hard to talk about your own work through an outsider's lens. So it's a fun challenge you can take on if you'd like. Um, I also loved hearing him talk about the way that certain skills come naturally to him. It's such a great reminder that not everything has to be work. Not everything has to be hard. There are probably some natural things that are naturally good to you that people get paid to do. Um, maybe you could think on that. Also, just take a little moment for meditation on what are the things that people get paid to do that come naturally to you. I'm so curious to hear. I'll probably do a little poll on Instagram. Um, cuz I wanna know what those things are. Uh, of course you can DM us anytime at Words That Move Me podcast. Alright, I think that's it for me, my friends. Um, I'll close out with a gentle reminder thanks to Luther that there is always room for laughter and there is always room for us to do better. So let's talk legacy. I am so lit up by Luther's thoughts and vision for the future. Um, I am stoked to know this person that is changing the world and the way we work in it. And so excited, humbled, genuinely jazzed to be at his service. Um, and that honestly starts here. Go get to know Luther, follow him on social media. Check out his incredible body of work. Um, I'll absolutely be linking to a few of my favorites and his socials in the show notes to this episode. All right. I think, yeah, there it is. Go get out there. Do the things that light you up, do the things that make you laugh and of course keep it very funky. I'll talk to you soon. … Outro: This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by Max Winnie, logo and brand design by Bree Reetz, and big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor also massive, thanks to you. The mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review into rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you. There. I will. 100% not stop you from visiting wordsthatmoveme.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also I will not stop you from visiting thedanawilson.com. If you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related. all right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you soon.

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