I wake up early most morning on my single bed to a hesitant New York sunrise, I say hesitant because the sun here seems to seep conveniently slowly into my room, a welcomed change to what I’m used to because sometimes I like to play mental games with myself and try to guess how many things I can get done, or how many of my friends birth date I can recall before the natural light fully illuminates my room. Most mornings though, I just like to sit there and imagine – reminisce - think about the busy London life and everyone’s individual strives, I know you’re thinking I’ve only been away for a couple of weeks and it’s way too early to be hit by the waves of nostalgia, but I guess I’m the eternal sentimentalist and for us it’s never too early.
I set out on the streets of Greenwich Village, downtown Manhattan, New York – the concrete Jungle, never before has a metaphor been used to greater effect, this place really is a place for David Attenborough to commentate over; the cloudy mist from sewers almost swamp like and human beings flocking from busy intersections like herds of gazelles avoiding the dangerous clutches of yellow beasts on four wheels, well unless you actually want to catch one. Like the Jungle it all seems to work and coincide together, the historical landmarks and new memorials, the eccentricity of busy Harlem nights and corporate Wall Street mornings, it all seems to make sense in this eclectic metropolis full of power and history, laughter and pain, purpose and desire... I think they call it the concrete Jungle because I don’t think you can ever find a place that blatantly conflicts with the needs of a natural world but still feels so natural.
I study at New York University or NYU as it’s commonly known, at the TISCH school of the arts, the artistic director of my course is Spike Lee, the Spike Lee bit has no relevance to what I’m about to say but just thought I should throw it out there. The course itself is ‘Graduate Filmmaking’, it’s a MFA which is sort of like a masters but not really (http://gradfilm.tisch.nyu.edu/object/MFAFilm.html), as well as this I’m doing a intensive creative writing course as a supplement. The course is tough but very insightful, it’s a three year course but I’ve been fortunate to learn the second year of the course which tailors to what I want to do - documentary. I am loving every moment of learning here, and what’s actually amazing is I am actually learning, I’m learning beyond what’s being taught in class and my daily interactions with new friends and class mates is really giving me greater insight into my work and how I want to develop as an artist.
I'll finish this rather prompt reflection with a simple message for all my friends in the creative field; we’re going to make great impacts on this industry...
Trust me we will.
Ola Malachi Masha