A little sibling rivalry never hurt anybody, right? I like to think so at least. Over the years, it has become so apparent how alike my brother and I really are. We’re only separated by three years, but I think we’ve finally come to that point at the beginning of our adult lives where we can understand each other for who we are, because we both understand exactly where we came from. We both grew up playing sports, running around outside, singing in the choirs, girl scouts, boy scouts, summer camp, you name it — but we were also encouraged to explore our own interests as well. While Cy excelled in art, I could hardly draw a stick figure much less paint a picture. Cy was busy developing his own film and creating a portrait of Bob Marley out of charcoal pencils and detailed shading techniques, while I was attending as many concerts, readings, and poetry slams as I could get myself to, until ultimately finding a voice for myself in the pages of journals, stage lights, and crowd filled rooms.
We shared the sports thing. He had the art thing. I had the music and writing thing. Two worlds. One home. One family. Not that uncommon. But then college happened, and then three years later it happened for him, too. Up the road at Michigan State for me, around the corner here in town at Michigan for him. I wandered and searched for a career path that just felt right, but always seemed to come up just short. I finally ended up with a degree in Communication, almost by default. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I knew that it was my ticket out and that it would allow room for something creative to hopefully fall into place.
During those years of changing majors time and time again, I still found myself making the drive down to Detroit or up to Grand Rapids for whoever was bringing their tour to the area, trading in newly 21 year old bar night funds for road trips, adventures, and any sort of temporary escape I could find. I still feel like it was the combination of an internship I stumbled upon in 2009 and finally seeing my favorite band live for the first time that motivated me through those last few years of credits and into alum status. Somehow, everything was clearly put into perspective and I had brand new tangible ‘I’m holding onto you, never letting go’ real goals. It was that internship and glimpse into the concert world that basically served as the huge “DUH” when I realized I’m not meant to be a teacher, hospitality gal, sports administrator, or whatever other corporate title I thought I was supposed to have. I built up all of these false expectations only to watch them crumble infront of me in a complete gear changing opportunity I never saw possible, especially in my own backyard. I never once had to pick up and leave, run away, or abandon my education to find what I was ultimately looking for. And for that, I am grateful and absolutely feel like I found a diamond in the rough; one to polish, protect, and keep for my very own.
I’m not sure why the music industry never crossed my mind up until that point, when in fact sports administration, hospitality business and other trendy industries had. Perhaps the music world was always seen as just that: A whole other world, time, and space where reality goes away, and for just a little while, nothing else matters except for that moment, the music, and all of those Earth moving feelings. I always knew the music mattered, that those feelings were real, and that it was all important… I believed. But I also thought society and our education systems had put a barrier up around formal titles with the fancy business suit, fat monthly paychecks, and all kinds of big time benefits, ultimately putting the American dream and other respectable ambitions on the back burner, despite a 4-year degree. Any sort of career involves hard work and busting your ass, that we all know. Being able to support yourself and a family isn’t something just handed to you on a silver platter, I get that. But most importantly, I understand that a strong work ethic is something to be proud of and the work you produce is something you should also be proud of. And for me, that goes hand-in-hand with overall happiness. It’s all relative, because at the end of the day, all we want is just to be happy. I am prepared to pay my dues and fight the fight, because I’ve come far enough to know by now that nothing touches my heart like a song does and that live music does in fact matter, a whole lot. I’ve learned first hand, in so many ways that music heals and I want to share that message with people every day of my life — Mon-Fri, 9-5, and beyond. No clocking out for me, no ma’am.
While I’ve taught myself the ins and outs of basic video editing, it was never once a surprise that my brother ended up studying Fine Arts at the amazing University of Michigan, excelling in film and other digital arts. Now that I’m working on the digital and social media side of the music business, I am beyond impressed and incredibly proud of the work Cy is producing. He’s got great entrepreneurial instincts and true professionalism that will take him far. I’m learning from him every day and couldn’t be more excited that he, too, is finding opportunities and success in this music world I have grown to love, value, and treasure.
This post was simply just going to be a few sentences sharing Cy’s latest video production portfolio reel, but clearly it took me down this long reflective path, shining light on the past and future to come. I’m inspired, humbled, and always proud of this kid. We’ve always called ourselves “Team Abdelnour,” but the more corners we turn, the more it really does in fact feel like a team. Teammates support each other and cheer each other on through the victories and losses — I’ve definitely found that in my fellow pisces and fellow dreamer of a sibling. I feel like the lucky one, but hey, aren’t we all just trying to do our thing with a little love and support?
Surround yourself with good like-minded people and never let them go. Be respectful. Be kind. Be brave. Laugh a lot and don’t always take yourself too seriously. Who’s perfect after all? I sure as hell am not. BORING.
P.S. Cy oh so generously made my new dandelion logo serving as the header up there on the ole blog and site. I totally love it, and if you’ve ever seen the dandelion tattoo on my left forearm, then you know he pretty much nailed it with this design. Thanks a million, kiddo! You’re the best.
Cylent Media Productions: Portfolio Reel 2012 – 2013