Thoughts About Collaborations

NOTE: I may be using “collaborate” and “kollaborate” interchangeably throughout today’s post, and if you know me, you know why. 😉

I was caught in quite a fickle this week at school when the people in a group project I had to do for one of my classes decided to wait until two days before our freaking presentation to finally come together and establish a plan of sorts.  Already I was telling them within the weeks we were given to work on this thing to act on the time we had, while we still could, and yet there they were; pulling off last-minute stunts, with me as the mule hauling their load.

What’s equally as stupid was their excuse for why they were doing this: senioritis.

Are you freaking kidding me??  Yeah, we’re college seniors, but I thought that $#!& only existed in high school!  We’re adults here for God’s sake!  Pull your weight!

See here: that’s one of the things that I’ve severely disliked about college; that when it comes to group projects, odds are you just may wind up with one full of slackers.  Already I had to deal with this in school when I was growing up, where I was always the left to do most (if not all) the dirty work in a group project.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been known as a hard worker from the beginning or what.  Regardless of the reason, I’ve had to deal with it all my life, and it sickens me that I still have to deal with it, even in this point in time in my life.

That’s why I’ve always been accustomed to working alone.

Don’t get me wrong; that’s not necessarily a bad thing; one that can work alone on something for a long period of time.  In fact, I believe there are certain jobs where that’s very admirable, for not everyone is capable of having that kind of focus.  But when it comes to group projects for school, that’s where a deep flood of dread swells up in me, for it can only go in so many different directions.

But when collaborating with people who actually care about the project that they are working on, whether or not it is for school, that’s when I do put my best foot forward.  If I’m working with people who share the same level of passion for something as I do, then there’s bound to be something good that will come out of it.

It wasn’t really until these last two years where I was more exposed to people who were open to kollaborating with each other creatively.  Whether if they be musicians, non-profits, dancers and what not, I can’t even keep track of many collaborations I’ve come across amongst artists who were so open to each other, that they were able to put their minds together to make something beautiful.

Take for instance Far East Movement kollaborating with Wong Fu Productions.  Together, they formed a concert that took place almost six years ago in Los Angeles, featuring some hit new media artists.  As of today, that concert has expanded further to become not only a concert series, but also an established entertainment company called International Secret Agents.

Then there’s also the case of one of my favorite musical artists; Sia Furler.  While she’s been an established singer-songwriter since the 90’s, it really wasn’t until the last four years where she’s really started to make a name for herself by writing (and even being featured in) a bunch of hit songs for some of the most post popular artists of current time.  Now, she’s the artist everyone in the mainstream music industry wants to work with.  As for me, I just not-so secretly want her to release an album called These Are The Songs I’ve Written For Other Artists and This Is How They Sound When I Sing Them (though the album she’s already planning to release I’m very much looking forward to).

There is one more example I want to point out: me.  I have trust issues I’ve been struggling with (and unfortunately developing) for the past few years already, but I’m starting to become more open to the idea of creatively collaborating with others; so much as to where back in January, I signed up for an account on HitRecord.  HitRecord is a production company actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt founded with his brother back in 2005.  While they first did it solely for themselves, they eventually opened it up to the creative community in 2010.  Anyone on there are can post original work and remix others to create collaborative works (i.e. music videos, short films, books, etc.), all the while maintaining the original rights to one’s work and even getting paid for it.

If anything, I joined it, not only to build up on my strength to trust people again, but also as a creative exercise for myself.  I so want to break out into the entertainment industry with my writing skills, and I think HitRecord is a good place to start.  I’ve only been a part of that particular community for almost two months, and I’m curious to see where it will go from there.

In general and the future, I’m definitely much more open to kollaborating with more creative people (so long as they have a backbone to put in work of their own).  I’ve never written a song before, but I know how to write poetry, and with the several songwriters out there that I’m big admirers of who have a lot of experience under their belts, it would definitely be a dream come true to collaborate with them one day.  It would also be interesting to kollaborate with an author on a piece as well (and trust me, there’s plenty that I want to work with); whether if that piece is necessarily fiction or not, I’m good either way.

So group projects will come and go, but as long as I don’t completely shun out working with others, even for the benefit of creativity, then I’d say I’m on the right path to something greater.


3 Replies to “Thoughts About Collaborations”

  1. Group projects can definitely be the worst. It’s probably one of life’s most unfair experiences; that you have to bust your butt just to get a good grade because others didn’t do anything. I didn’t know much about Sia’s early work — her story is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing about her. Since I haven’t been super active as a performing musician lately, I’ve been wondering how to collaborate more with writing. Writing seems like one of the most solo and protectively personal creative outlets, so it’s hard to find ways to collaborate with people. It’s cool you’re pursuing this.

    1. I don’t know if I’m necessarily pursuing that particular endeavor at the moment. It’s just something I would like to do eventually.

      But yeah those group projects… yeah, and people wonder why I have trust issues. I was angry at them (my group members) last week and it showed, and yet for whatever reason, they couldn’t figure out why.

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