REINTRODUCING SIMONE CAMPBELL
Simone Campbell, a committed advocate for social equality, models behaviors and character traits such as dedication, diligence and determination; she lives with exemplary personal authenticity and communicates with a a sincerity which can only serve to encourage, inspire and motivate those who are fortunate enough to know her.
Simone brings humor and humility to every aspect of her personal and professional life.
As a major supporter and vital contributor to my book, NEVER BLEND IN, Simone reflected upon her position as a role model, “Every time I show up at an event, every time I get up in front of a classroom of kids and tell my story (I was on the Speaker’s Bureau for Community United Against Violence for about 10 years), every time I walk on stage and pick up a microphone I am keenly aware of the position I am in. As an entertainer…and an OUT one, I have a moral responsibility to hold myself up to a higher standard. To live…above the fray. I am not sure where comedy will lead me. I’ve tried to separate being a comic and being an activist…and failed miserably, so I figured why fight it. I embrace it every day. And I am thankful for it every day”.
Change is often painfully slow but it is inevitable. Change will come when social perceptions are informed by those who live with authenticity, by those who acknowledge the stereotypes but also present a wider palate which illustrates the true diversity of our wonderful human race.
In truth, it’s really quite simple and perhaps a little clichéd (clichés are clichés because often they are true)…Love will always conquer hate, courage will conquer fear and with her warm, wise and witty words, Simone Campbell will change the world…one mind at a time!
Our society, in all its grandness is flawed, and like individual people, is slow to change. It can change with people championing the cause, voting until it hurts. People need to tell their stories. Shout from the rooftops that we will NOT go quietly into that good night, and to lead with the one thing we know is universal….LOVE.
WHAT HAS SIMONE BEEN UP TO RECENTLY?
This is what I’ve been up to.
“Vent” Memories of Monsieur Brunard is a documentary that I am making about my grandfather, who was a masterful ventriloquist, and I’m about to launch a Kickstarter campaign soon, to get things rolling!”
He is me, and I am him
Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/ is a relatively new way to fund creative projects; a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since their launch in 2009, 6.5 million people have pledged $1 billion, funding 64,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.
Each project is independently created. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource; we’re not involved in the development of the projects themselves. Anyone can launch a project on Kickstarter as long as it meets their guidelines.
Together, creators and backers make projects happen. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
“There’s just something magical about Kickstarter… You immediately feel like you’re part of a larger club of art-supporting fanatics.”
Reflecting upon her Grandfather’s impact upon her own life, Simone told me, “For my entire life, my Grandfather has been this magical creature. He was a small man, with a big presence, who lived his life on his own terms. I was always mesmerized by his zest for life. When my mother died, I was able to get some of my grandfather’s letters, photos, etc… But when I read them I was struck by the sadness in his voice, his melancholy over failures, family problems, fame that eluded him; it wasn’t the man that I, or any of his contemporaries knew.”
“I’ll be interviewing vents who knew my Grandfather, including Kenny Warren, (a veteran professional ventriloquist with over thirty years’ experience) who took lessons from him as a boy, Mallory Lewis, who is Shari Lewis’ daughter and who now has Lamb Chop; my grandfather was instrumental in her mother’s success and was never given proper credit.”
“This project is about looking at his being an entertainer as a whole, traveling with the USO, doing the cruise lines, and how this affected our family; good and bad.”
While in public he was a very gracious man.
He suffered silently the fact that he had to stop when he was within reach of grasping at fame
Simone, explains the reasons for her passionate commitment to this project about her grandfather, Richard Bruno a.k.a. MONSIEUR BRUNARD:
I felt like this was my opportunity to honor him in the way that he deserved.
The way a “master ventriloquist” deserved.
This has proven to be a project that is changing my perception of what it means to truly be an entertainer…and that the roads are filled with amazing stories and incredible sadness. This is my legacy to him.
He was proud of who he was and his accomplishments. He inspires in me the desire to be proud, authentic, and relentless in my efforts to soak up all that life has to offer.
When my grandfather died, he was doing what he loved…performing.
He walked back to his chair to the sound of applause and laughter, sat in his chair…and never got back up.
He is me, and I am him.
An entertainer looking to make a mark on the world for the better.”
This is the movie trailer that is part Simone’s Kickstart campaign to make a documentary about her grandfather Richard Bruno a.k.a. MONSIEUR BRUNARD
With Kickstarter, creators keep 100% ownership of their work. Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially. Instead, project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. Backers of an effort to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work. A bigger pledge to a film project might get you into the premiere — or a private screening for you and your friends. One artist raised funds to create a wall installation then gave pieces of it to her backers when the exhibit ended.
Creative works were funded this way for centuries. Mozart, Beethoven, Whitman, Twain, and other artists funded works in similar ways — not just with help from large patrons, but by soliciting money from smaller patrons, often called subscribers. In return for their support, these subscribers might have received an early copy or special edition of the work.
Kickstarter is an extension of this model, turbocharged by the web.
“The most democratic way art has ever been made.”
There will be more news coming soon about how you can support Simone Campbell’s Kickstarter Campaign and how you can play a part in bringing this project, and its universal story, to life.
Future articles will also feature insight from colleagues and Richard Bruno a.k.a. MONSIEUR BRUNARD himself.
Vent – Memories of Monsieur Brunard on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vent-Memories-of-Monsieur-Brunard/464709137008556?fref=ts
David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign”Give ’em Hope”and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin