Is this Reel Life?Written by Cori Hanky & Tas Anjarwalla
Let's face it. We’ve all thought those phrases that suggest humor or drama or reek of a desperate hunger for fame —“I should be on a reality show” or “my family should have its own sitcom” or “my life should be a movie.” We realize the absurdity of these statements and laugh begrudgingly at the idea of people wanting to watch what goes on in our lives. Yet sometimes, after a rare, hilarious or tragic occasion, we’ll hear someone’s story that really does belong on the big screen.
Dylan Knight, a second-year media arts student, was sitting on his couch this past summer, eating a bagel and thinking about how there was nothing new in life, when the phone rang.
“Hey, it’s Skinny from Nappy Roots,” the caller said, giving Dylan the shock of a lifetime. “We want you to shoot a music video for us,” Skinny continued as Dylan sat dumbfounded.
Dylan, originally from Kentucky, was in Virginia for the summer interning with DuckDuck Collective — a creative group in Lynchburg. Since he made the decision to study film-making, Dylan has been creating music videos for local artists and groups he knows personally.
“I didn’t even know they knew who I was,” says Dylan about Nappy Roots. “I don’t even know how they got my number.”
But the popular rap group was set on having Dylan shoot their video, and within two weeks of the phone call, they had him on a plane back to his home state to film “The People,” a portrait of the citizens of Louisville, Kentucky. Dylan and a friend spent two days hanging with Nappy Roots.
“I was pretty star-struck at first. But the thing that surprised me is that they were just regular guys who had a passion for what they did,” he says. “It was fun because we were going all over the city, and at every stop I got to learn more and more about each member. I got to have some pretty personal conversations with them — we talked about their kids and their pasts.”
Dylan was given a VIP pass to the Nappy Roots show in Louisville, and he says it was something he’ll never forget.
“People were just throwing them drinks and bottles. I got to go up to the room with them, and it was just like those stereotypical rapper/hip-hop videos.”
Dylan’s unbelievable experience was certainly due more to hard work than luck, and you can check out his amazing (seriously) videos at dylanknight.com. He is currently working on a music video for another Kentucky-based hip-hop artist, Nemo.
A Crash Course in Sailing
When SC Honors College student “Molly” applied for a job at Camp Wayfarer, she marked “sailing” as a leadership activity — without having set foot on a sailboat. When Molly arrived at camp, the
director informed her that she would be the sailing counselor.
Molly joined her co-workers a week before the campers arrived for an afternoon on the water. She thought, “How hard could this be?” She boarded her single-sailor Sunfish sailboat and pushed off. Within minutes, Molly’s boat slammed into the pier, splitting the better half of the bow. A co-counselor rushed over and asked in a confused tone, “Have you ever actually been sailing before?” Molly replied, simply, “Never.”
For the rest of that week, Molly took a crash course in sailing, and when her first group of campers arrived, she only sort of knew how to teach them what to do. For weeks, Molly smiled and agreed with her kids when they asked if they were sailing correctly.
At the end of the summer, Molly took the girls out for a special day of sailing on Camp Wayfarer’s most prized possession — The Hobie Cat, a small sailing catamaran. As the first four girls boarded the boat, Molly pushed off.
The further they sailed from the dock, the more Molly realized she had no idea what she was doing. She assured everyone that the water filling the right side of the boat was not a sign that the boat was sinking, but as soon as she jibed in an attempt to whip the sails around and return to the pier, water crashed into the left side. The boat was, indeed, sinking. Molly tried to keep everybody calm, but the four prima donnas in her class became hysterical. They swam to shore, and Molly ran for help. She made it back in time to watch the tallest tip of the sail slipping under the surface of the water — destined to remain there forever, like the Titanic or the Black Pearl. Molly was not asked to return to camp the next summer.
The following Christmas, Molly’s mother gave her a book as a gift: “Basic Sailing: An Easy-to-Use Book with Over 200 Illustrations.” It remains on her bookshelf, untouched.
The Storm Thurman
First-year student Devon Thurman was struck by lightning. She wasn’t flying a kite in a storm or trying to get back to 1985 in her DeLorean; she was washing her horse, Turner. A storm hit, forcing Devon and Turner to retreat to the barn as thunder rumbled in the sky around them. While hosing down the horse, Devon could see lightning strike the ground, but coolly she kept on with her task. Little did she know what was to come.
“I’ve ridden in bad weather a lot, and it was never an issue. I think it was just one of those freak things that happens,” Devon says.
She was holding the metal end of the hose in her hand and standing on a rubber mat when a shock bolted through her system. She was knocked backward into the wall as Turner was forced into the air.
Lightning had come up from the ground along the water system and through the hose in Devon’s hand. The current coursed through her body, and the spray of water conducted electricity to the horse.
“It was just really quick, and I didn’t know what happened,” Devon says. “The only way to describe it is if you touch something and get shocked by it — except way stronger.”
Devon spent 20 minutes making sure Turner was okay before driving herself to the ER. The doctors told Devon that because she had been standing on rubber mats, she didn’t have an exit wound. According to her, normally when lightning goes into someone, it leaves a mark where it comes out.
“They said because I didn’t have an exit wound, the lightning was probably still in me,” Devon says.
She stayed at the hospital most of the night but went to school the next day.
Disclaimer: Some of the names and places have been changed in the previous stories to protect the innocent — and the guilty.
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