Father’s Day and a Becoming Fools Related Anniversary

Coincidentally, June 16, 2013 was Father’s Day and a Becoming Fools related anniversary.

As I celebrate the fact that I am a dad, I also remember the purpose of our film. A year ago, street youth performed with professional entertainers on a Broadway stage as part of Becoming Fools. Here’s a bit of the opening narration:

“When I was a kid, it felt great when my parents came to watch me in a sport or play. Think back … Chances are, someone was there for you too, rooting you on with a smile. Someone was your number one fan, encouraging you to never give up.

But what if things were different?

What if … instead of rooting you on, your parents abused you … or what if they weren’t even there at all? How would that have changed your life? What opportunities would you have missed? For some, this “different reality”, really isn’t different. It’s all they’ve ever known …”

I am grateful for my dad. I’m also very thankful to be a father to my own sons, who happen to be from Guatemala.

When I tuck them into bed at night, I can’t forget that there are a lot of kids in Guatemala (and around the world) who don’t sleep in a bed and didn’t celebrate Father’s Day with their dads. That’s why we produced Becoming Fools to help make a difference.

Here’s a bonus feature, a scene from the Voz de las Calles Show.

Prodigal Clown – Scene – 03 from Athentikos on Vimeo.

 

We need your help to share the story.

Will you join us in Becoming Fools and give a tax-deductible donation to help us release the film?

Give a tax-deductible donation.

The Implosion of Becoming Fools

A year ago today, we were in Guatemala documenting the implosion of Becoming Fools.

We were three days away from a big theatrical event called “Voz de las Calles”, which was the culmination of five months of rehearsals with street youth and professional entertainers. The road had not been entirely smooth. In fact, there were some major hurdles along the way. But, with the help of gracious volunteers, it looked like they were going to pull it off.

And then … three days before the show, the bottom dropped out …

One of the street youth with a leading role in the play had been in drug rehabilitation for a year. Three days before the show, he left his rehab and went back to the streets to consume drugs. My heart was broken. This guy wasn’t a “street youth” to me – he was a friend. I was rooting for him and his peers as they wrestled towards their goal of performing on a Guatemalan Broadway Stage.

A year ago today, we didn’t know if they would be able to pull it off. It seemed impossible:

  • Most of the cast were youth who still lived in the streets
  • The original director wrecked his motorcycle and couldn’t continue with the project
  • Funds had not been raised to pay for the theater rental
  • The cast had never finished the entire play in rehearsal
  • One of the lead characters left the show 3 days before the event
05.31.13_02
The cast rehearses a symbolic scene where the hero is attacked by shadows.
05.31.13_03
This is probably how Roberto, the theatrical director felt, as he tried to pull the show together in three days.
05.31.13_04
Scott Moore documents the implosion of Becoming Fools, on his knees.
05.31.13_05
A tired cast receives notes after rehearsal.
05.31.13_06
The night ended with conflict as one of the cast members quit the show.

We didn’t know what would happen a year ago, but we all walked forward in faith .. Becoming Fools.

We captured a beautiful story that walks a tightrope between tragedy and comedy.

Fast forward to today …

We feel much like we did a year ago. It seems impossible.

We never raised the money needed to finish the film. But we believed in the project, so we subsidized it with our blood, sweat, tears, and personal savings.

The good news is that the film is finished.

The bad news is that so is our funding.

We need your help to share the story.

Will you join us in Becoming Fools and give a tax-deductible donation to help us release the film?

Give a tax-deductible donation.

 

Casa Bernabé Gives Hope To At-Risk Children in Guatemala

Casa Bernabé gives hope to at-risk children in Guatemala though orphan care, a community medical center, family counseling and in-country adoption awareness programs.

Casa Bernabé gives hopes to at-risk youth

An estimated 5,000 youth live in the streets of Guatemala City. Each of them has their own unique story, but all of them struggle with wounded hearts. Abuse and neglect have made it difficult for there children to integrate into society, but hope is rising. Individuals and organizations are investing in at-risk youth to prevent them from going to the street by restoring broken families and helping children in the street find their way back into loving homes.

Casa Bernabé has a long history of investing in at-risk youth. Located on 13 acres outside of Guatemala City, Casa Bernabé is home to more than 150 children that have come from at-risk living situations. Their unique approach to orphan care includes homes with family groups. Each child belongs to a loving, nurturing family made up of house parents and their own children. They live together in individual homes large enough for 15-20 children of the same age group. As a family unit they eat, pray, play and work together.

In this video, Lili shares how her life was rescued and healed through the community at Casa Bernabé.

Tamagochy

tamagochy_02

Tamagochy is a Guatemalan icon, made famous for his performances in the streets of historic Antigua, Guatemala. We saw him performing during our scouting trip in 2011 and were totally blown away by his creative talent. We first noticed the crowd surrounding him and wondered why everyone was gathered. We approached the crowd to explore and quickly realized they were watching a master at work. Before we knew it the crowd unglued us as more people joined behind us.

Being a filmmaker, I pulled out my camera to capture his antics. Of course, Tamagochy dialed right in and pulled me into his show to be part of the act. I remember thinking, “It would be so great if someone like this was a part of Becoming Fools.” But at the time, we didn’t know much about the film. I didn’t want to prematurely invite him into something that wouldn’t pan out. So I decided to keep quiet. It was hard for me to walk away and not say anything because I could see Tamagochy’s potential. I regretted that decision for the rest of the scouting trip.

I pulled up Tamagochy’s footage after returning home and again felt regret for not reaching out to him. I couldn’t believe I met him personally and didn’t mention a single thing about the film. I didn’t get his contact info and I didn’t ask him to sign a release form either. So this footage was never going to see the light of day … And then …

About a month after returning home, I received an email from … Tamagochy …

He heard about the Becoming Fools project and wanted to help. I just sat there for a moment in awe of what happened. I hadn’t said a thing. I had no idea how to contact him. But that didn’t matter. Tamagochy contacted us!

Tamagochy is an absolute star when it comes to talent. But he didn’t come in with arrogance as a professional. He joined the team as a humble servant, volunteering his time because he understood the issues these youth were facing. He proved to be an incredible treasure for both the street youth and the Becoming Fools story.

If you are ever in Antigua, Guatemala, make sure you take some time to enjoy his street performance … and when he passes the hat, tip him well, knowing that you are helping an incredible artist continue to help make the world a better place.

Here’s a scene from the Becoming Fools Theatrical event with Tamagochy and Toñito – both are featured in the documentary, Becoming Fools.

Prodigal Clown – Scene 2

Prodigal Clown – Scene – 02 from Athentikos on Vimeo.