A Fools Guide to sharing Becoming Fools

A Fools Guide to Sharing Becoming Fools

We understand it can be overwhelming with all of the different social networks and all the ways to share something, even when you’re eager to share it! And we know many of you have asked us, “how can I spread the word about Becoming Fools?” So we decided to make it easy for you. Below we provided all of the current social media outlets we are active on, our home pages, hashtags to use and even some sample messaging. We hope this will make it easier and more effective to share your excitement about Becoming Fools and the issues of homelessness and at-risk youth the film addresses.

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Our Homepages

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
Youtube
Vimeo
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Hashtags and ID’s

@Athentikos
#BecomingFools
#atriskyouth
#homelessyouth
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Sample Messaging

Just copy [Cntrl+C] and paste [Cntrl+V] any of the text blocks below into Facebook, Twitter, Google+, any social media outlet where you can share content.

It took @Athentikos over 2 years to produce it. Now’s the time to launch it. #BecomingFools http://bit.ly/19tSWNl

#BecomingFools is finished. Help @Athentikos launch the screening tour! http://bit.ly/19tSWNl

Help #atriskyouth by supporting the #BecomingFools Screening Tour http://bit.ly/19tSWNl @Athentikos

#BecomingFools is complete, help @Athentikos now get an audience to see it and raise awareness of #homelessyouth http://bit.ly/19tSWNl

A Fools Guide to Sharing Becoming Fools

Omaha Film Festival / Press Release

Athentikos heads to the Omaha Film Festival this week to premiere “Becoming Fools.” For those of you in the area (or know someone in Omaha), please join us in celebrating this story. Here is the press release for the film.

Filmmakers inspire hope in Guatemala by “Becoming Fools”

Non-profit organization, Athentikos, premieres feature-length documentary Becoming Fools at Omaha Film Festival on March 10, 2013 at 12pm.

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Spring Hill, TN (WEB) February 26, 2013 — Athentikos, a non-profit film production organization that exposes need and inspires hope through the art of story, is premiering their second documentary, Becoming Fools at the Omaha Film Festival on March 10, 2013 at 12pm.  This will be the first among many film festival premieres throughout the spring and summer.

Becoming Fools is the ultimate underdog story of comedy healing tragedy. Becoming Fools documents the lives of Guatemalan street youth who are joined by professional entertainers in preparing for a theatrical event to honor their fallen hero, Italo, whose passion for these children started a movement teaching the art of clowning as a way to rehabilitate lives and to show these children a father’s love.

“Clowns are not just associated with children, clowns really are children. So learning to clown helps reconnect these youth with their stolen childhood,” said Director, Scott Owen Moore. “Becoming Fools is a rally cry to take a risk and join in the effort to end child homelessness. We’ve already seen the power of this story to unite people in this important cause.”

The filming of Becoming Fools further ignited a movement in Guatemala set to empower youth living in the streets to rise above their situation.  Over 20 diverse organizations now meet monthly to discuss ways they can work together in serving street youth.

Athentikos hopes to premiere Becoming Fools throughout the US during a fall & winter screening tour.

See the trailer here.

Contact: Scott Moore / smoore@athentikos.com / Athentikos / 615-852-8326

The Official Becoming Fools Movie Trailer

Drum roll, please …. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to release the official Becoming Fools Movie Trailer.

We’re not yet finished with the film, but we’re close. It’s in the final phase of post-production: coloring, music, mixing, animation, art, and credits.

After a year of pre-production and research, 6 months of production and 6 months of editing and post-production, we are rounding the turn towards the finish line. My heart has swung through all emotions imaginable over the course of this journey – from loving the story, to absolutely hating it, to loving it again.

The production phase is my favorite. It is a time when we are out in the world together, collaborating, capturing a story and experiencing the richness of community. It’s hard work, but somehow we don’t notice because we are together. You should hear the laughter at 2 AM when we’re logging footage, after a 12 hour shoot in a dirty environment … and the water is off, so you can’t take a shower before bed. It is a true joy!

Then there is the flip side. If production is a joy because of community, then editing is the Alcatraz prison of loneliness. To be honest, I often wrestle with depression while editing a film. It is a long period of isolation in the “editing cave” with only small spurts of community when we evaluate the film. And because those small doses of community are focused on critically evaluating the film, it usually results in me having to spend more time editing in isolation. Don’t get me wrong. I greatly value constructive criticism during the process and want our films to be the best they can be! It just begins to take its toll after 6 months of 16 hour work days. Needless to say, I am very glad that I can see the light at the end of the editing tunnel!

After all this work, the film is slightly different than we originally imagined. But, this is normal because you never have control over all the production elements in a documentary. In this case, we were thrown some pretty big wild cards during production. I compared it to riding a wild bull. We just held on tight, kept the cameras rolling, and prayed we were capturing what we needed to tell a great story. Thankfully, we captured some great stuff!

During a recent Athentikos meeting, we engaged in a deep and honest discussion about the film. We asked some  tough questions ….

Is this a compelling story?

Does this film achieve what we set out to do?

Is the story depicted in the final edit the same story we passionately felt called to produce in the beginning?

It was unanimous. Even though the story is different than we initially imagined, it compellingly accomplishes the goal we set out to achieve. This is the story God called us to tell.

It’s full of warm characters, beautiful tension and redemption that we couldn’t have written better if we wrote it as a narrative. It still makes me cry … and I have seen it thousands of times over the course of editing! So, either I am completely off my rocker, or this story truly connects to the heart.

As we work diligently to wrap up the final details in this project, I have mixed emotions. I’ve committed 2 years of my life to developing, filming and editing this story. I’ve grown to love these street youth as dear friends. Their delicate charm has captured my heart! I would love for this film to raise awareness and bring needed resources to this issue! But, I have no idea what will become of it all.

We raised enough funding to get through production. But we still lack the financial resources to release the film. Unfortunately, we can’t subsidize this next phase with our sweat equity. Unless we receive additional funding, we will be forced to put the film on hold. We truly believe this story has the potential to make a difference in the lives of street youth around the world. But we need your help … will you consider giving a donation?

As of right now, we only have one official film screening planned. Let’s make it count!

Becoming Fools will screen at the Omaha Film Festival on Sunday March 10 at 12:15 PM.

Gather your friends and meet us there! If you are too far away to attend, please help us make noise so we can try to fill the theater. Use every means necessary to tell people about this opportunity to see the film: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, phone calls, post cards, smoke signal … and especially talking face to face!

Please watch the trailer and share it. Give a donation if you can. Work with us to help bring the film to your city. Let’s become fools together and make a difference!

Give a tax-deductible donation to help us release the film.

Behind The Scenes: Cameras!

Behind The Scenes: Cameras!

I recently created and published a video talking about one of the cameras we used on the ‘Becoming Fools’ production, the Canon C300. I got such a great response I decided to also publish it here as well. I know it’s more of a tech type video but I added quite a bit of behind the scenes footage in the video itself so it was worth sharing to those who like to view that sort of thing.

To view the full post on my own personal blog, you can check that out by clicking here.

Why do we keep marching forward in something that seems so foolish?

We are fools.

Why do we keep marching forward in something that seems so foolish?

Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I am just stubborn or stupid. Either way, we are foolish for marching forward. Today, I finally finished editing Becoming Fools … and …  we received our first response back from a film festival in which we submitted the film. It went like this:

“I’m sorry to inform you that your project was not selected … Best of luck with your future projects.”

Not the most encouraging news on this milestone of production …

Now, let me set the stage for this message. I’ve been working on the Becoming Fools documentary for two years; full time for the last year and a half. And really … Full time is an understatement. It’s more like 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. I don’t share this for sympathy. I share it to reinforce the fact that I am truly, without a doubt … foolish.

From the very beginning, every step of this journey has been foolish. It’s been a marathon of impossible hurdles strung together to taunt our souls to give up:

▪    The protagonist of the story died while we were in pre-production.
▪    Amelia and I lost our day jobs within 3 weeks of each other & we were left without secure income.
▪    Our Kickstarter fundraiser failed to raise the funds we needed to produce the film.
▪    Funds were not raised to pay for the live theatrical event which is documented in the film.
▪    The lead character of the live theatrical event quit and went back to the streets.
▪    485 hours of footage needed to be translated before we could edit it down to feature length
▪    The edit took 5 months of working 16 hours a day, six days a week.
▪    We missed the opportunity to enter several large film festivals for the season.
▪    Technical difficulties made finalizing the edit very difficult.
▪    Our 1st Film Festival notice was negative.
▪    We don’t have any funds to release the film.

… And yet we continue …. WHY?

There are days in which I wonder if I have wasted the last few years of my life investing into this foolish endeavor. Somedays it stings the very core of my being and I feel like a total failure.

But then I take a deep breath and remember why we started this project: it is a story that needs to be shared so that it may inspire.

What is failure? What is foolish? Italo could be considered both. He lived his life according to the passion that God gave him. He risked his life in dangerous city streets to care for kids who were not likely to change. In fact, most of the kids he cared for still wrestle with some sort of addiction and never totally left the streets. But Italo didn’t die in the streets where he risked his life. And … His passion was reborn into not just one person, but an entire community of fools that believe they can make a difference together.

Was Italo a fool? Yes. Was he a failure? Absolutely not.

Like Italo, we continue because we ARE fools living life according to the passion God has given us, and with that established, there is no way we can fail. So we keep marching forward …

 

Will you consider giving a tax-deductible donation to help us finish this story & make a difference in the lives of homeless youth?

Give a tax-deductible donation.

 

My Experience: More Than Words Can Express

It is hard to believe how quickly the last 7 months have gone by.  It is even harder to grasp how much I learned and experienced during my time in Guatemala, about Guatemala, about the world, about God, about appreciating the things He has blessed me with, about myself, about managing a team, about coordinating a production schedule, about unconditional love, about overcoming obstacles, and the list could go on and on.  It is almost impossible to share everything about my experience, but I will try through this and several other blogs.

My Experience

When I arrived to Guatemala in January, after missing my connecting flight in Dallas, I took a detour to the LA airport and finally arrived in Guatemala City at 5:30am.  (Thank you again Hubert for picking me up, and Josue for making me breakfast).  Shortly after arriving, I fell asleep.  When I woke up a couple hours later, I hit the ground running, with little rest for the next 6 months.

My experience: more than words can express

With the start of February, we began Tuesday/Thursday rehearsal workshops with several youth from the streets.  At the beginning, other than Fergie, Mefi and myself we had a different group of kids each week.  Some would come to check out the classes, but quickly after lose interest; others would wander in, still feeling the effects of their latest solvent consumption, barely able to participate in the exercises.  But slowly, we started attracting a group of extremely talented, determined and passionate young adults.  Each class was an experience, some were encouraging as the kids made progress and gained confidence in their abilities and what they had accomplished; however, others were extremely emotional as some chose to drop-out because of obvious internal struggles they were experiencing.

My experience: more than words can express

March and April were work months.  Our Guatemala team kicked it into high gear as we started developing the plan and organizing the team for the Live Event in June, in addition to keeping Tuesday/Thursday classes going.  The deeper we got, the more work we took upon ourselves.  And the deeper we got, the more responsibilities I added to my list of things to-do.

My experience: more than words can express

With Scott’s arrival at the end of April, production went into high gear.  As other A-team members have mentioned, the production of Becoming Fools was very different from Reparando in the way that the Becoming Fools story was taking shape, with the occasional sharp, left turn, right before our eyes.  The unstable lives of the youth we were working with added an additional level of stress and planning as I was still adjusting to coordinating and planning our production schedule in a foreign country, in a different culture and different language.

The beginning of June came before we knew it, and with it came nerves and excitement about a whole week of events we titled Celebración: Voz de las Calles.  During this week, we had a press conference, a national consultation and the live theatrical event, not to mention rehearsal for the show every evening.  As all the pieces for the show started coming together, I was continually in awe at the progress these young adults from the street had made in their performance ability, confidence.  Throughout different conversations and interviews we had with the kids, my heart was so warmed as each of them continuously thanked us for the opportunity to participate in this event.  However, about a week before the show, I realized that these kids had no idea the magnitude of the event they were about to put on.  One day at practice as I was stamping the entrance tickets for the show, Cesar, one of the young men asked me what I was doing.  When I told him that I was stamping tickets for the show, he said, “Wow, there are that many?”  I only had a stack of 100 I was working on at that specific time.  I asked him how many people he thought were coming to see them perform.  He responded “You, Scott, Josue”…and listed a couple other members of our team.  As I told him there were 700 seats in the theater and we were hoping to fill as many as possible, a mixture of nervousness and excitement crept over his face.

My experience: more than words can express

As the show got closer and closer, I got more nervous and more nervous.  Even then, in the middle of June, after about 5 months in Guatemala, I still had not gotten used to how everything ALWAYS comes together last minute.  Characters were not finalized, costumes were not altered, set pieces were not constructed, tickets were not sold out, several scenes of the show had not been rehearsed, and many other details weighed heavily on my mind and heart.  I feared not having a full theater for the kids to perform in. I feared that the kids having stage fright and forgetting their parts.  I feared not having the finances to make the show happen.  I feared letting the kids down in giving them an amazing experience.  I feared letting the Athentikos team down if everything didn’t come together like it needed to.  Night after night, I went to bed praying that God would make the things happen that needed to.  And for the things that didn’t, I prayed for complete trust in Him, that Celebración: Voz de las Calles (the press conference, the consultation, and the live event) would bring awareness and change the hearts of Guatemala City.  I prayed that the kids would be great, confirming my belief in them that they are way talented, charismatic, amazing young adults that could accomplish any challenge set in front of them.

My experience: more than words can express

The week of Voz de las Calles came and went quicker than any week of my life.  I tried to absorb every emotion, every up-and-down, every fear and every triumph because I knew after it was all over I was going to want to experience it all over again…and I did!  The day/night of the event was crazy!  Good thing I wore shorts and a tank-top, because I was sweating all day from running around to fix all the finishing details.  The crazy running around continued throughout the show, but I was able to sit and enjoy some of it.  Words cannot express how amazingly proud I was of each and every kid performing on that stage.  And as the show ended, each of their faces lit up with pride, accomplishment and a new sense of self-confidence.

My experience: more than words can express

More production followed the Live Event, and time continued to fly.  After Scott and the rest of the production team were gone, I was able to take a step back and enjoy Guatemala.  I was able to spend some time in the streets with our kids from the show and meeting other young adults.   I shared Reparando with some street kids.  I was able to travel a little.  And before I knew it I was packing my bags to come home.

My trip home became a 24-hour, emotional ordeal.  With delayed flights, long lines and lots of waiting, I had lots of time to reflect on my time and experiences.  However, now a month later, I still find myself unable to completely wrap my head and heart around everything.  I am forever thankful to Athentikos for the opportunity to be a part of this production.  I am forever thankful to every person I met in Guatemala who touched my heart in such a special way.  And I am forever thankful to God for the lessons I learned, relationships that were formed and changes He made in my heart.

Tired, Loco, Busy…

By: Matt Eldredge

In preparing for my return trip to Guatemala to help on production for Becoming Fools, I heard a lot of keywords of what to expect like tired, loco, busy, long, tired, hectic, tired, etc…I tried to plan ahead with which audio adapters to bring and just be mentally ready for the hard work and long hours ahead. After a minor scare of not finding my bag right away, Bobby and Tyler showed up at the airport and we all made our way cleanly through security and customs with all the gear, thank God.  I had flown out a little earlier and gone through Dallas while they flew through Miami, and we both landed in Guatemala City at right about the same time, but an hour late, go figure.

We were a little too late to make it to our first rehearsal to see what all the kids had been working on, so opted for some KFC and settling in at Joel’s.  Evidently, we had missed quite an eventful rehearsal as one of the main characters in the Voz De Las Calles production, Mefi, had left the cast after missing several rehearsals and then showing up under the influence and fighting with the other cast and crew. We began to feel some uncertainty as to how well this whole event was going to come off but pressed on and hoped for the best as we continued planning.

The day before Voz De Las Calles, our whole team held a morning production meeting with a local film producer named Rafa to help us prepare and film the event. It was a great meeting from a production side as we got everything lined up and we were encouraged by everyone offering their resources and talents to pull this thing off well.

At the Friday night rehearsal, the eve of the performance, we were hopeful to have the cast of kids finally get through the entire performance at the rehearsal theater, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite a challenge to get all of these different performers, volunteers, let alone kids living out on the streets, together at the same time for hours enough to rehearse a large production all the way through. But instead, we worked on several scenes and saw a lot of the kids displaying the new talents they had been working on for months, and then the director gathered everyone together and all sat down on the stage in a big circle. What happened next was even better than finishing a rehearsal as they began to share their hearts, their struggles and accomplishments thus far, their purpose for pressing ahead, and then they gave thanks to God and lifted each other and this special performance up to Him in prayer. I could just feel God stirring in hearts and smiling down on this special group.

Saturday, performance day, we headed to the theater to set up and get establishing shots. As we tried to prepare in this beautiful venue I was just hopeful that the kids would make it through the performance all right. It was a real treat to see all the actors and crew and musicians and photographers buzzing around backstage. So many people there giving their time and talent to this project. It was also really fun watching the kids get transformed into all the different clown makeup. The energy for the performance was really building and then we were all surprised by who showed up next…Mefi!

Fortunately Scott and I got to rush over and capture a humbled Mefi return to apologize and accept the consequences of his actions. He knew that he had messed up but still just wanted to be a part of the play in any way that he could. He then had a really hard conversation with the director, accepted that he would not get to perform his original part, but again asked humbly that he could just be a part of it and said that he didn’t want to give up on his dreams and all the hard work that he, and his friends, had put into this performance, he wanted to be here for himself and for them and was willing to say he was sorry for his actions. And then he was allowed to get his part back!! What an inspirational picture of God’s grace and forgiveness and the truth that he always gives second chances and open arms!

During the play Scott and I stayed backstage to capture all the energy and action. We did get to see a lot from the side stage and also quite a lot of frantic running around, warm up routines, jitters, and a girl struggling to get her stilts on right, it was a little nerve racking! But the most fun part was hearing all the laughter and applause coming from the audience! The performance went really great, and ended in a climactic joyous celebration, amazing! I’m sure that you can’t wait to see it… 😉

Now, this was only 2 days into our production trip! I was continuously inspired in so many ways…

During our trip to Lake Atitlan I was inspired by the strength of a young man Raul, who had to watch his friend and mentor, Italo drown right in front of him, and who was able to share that pain and tell his story at that very lake spot.  During one of our many trips into the city streets I was inspired by a business owner who shared the use of his building, roof, and even his security guards to allow us to film and move about getting shots we wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.

The adventure didn’t come without a little struggle, being in a foreign land and realizing how needy we were for help with direction, translation, transportation, and with our limited resources. So I was especially inspired by the Voncannons who graciously escorted us all around the city to profound areas of ministry, by their own hearts to sacrifice and pour out to very difficult places, meeting people right where they are: hungry, addicted, broken, hurting on the street, and sharing the love of Christ with them. Oh and for a little thing like giving us their van for a couple of days so we could actually get around and film, amazing!

Other sources of inspiration: our incredible team! Scott our fearless leader and master of the BRPs, Amelia getting amazing stills and our underwater filmmaking champion, Bobby making us all look good and driving like a boss, Tyler Balboa keeping the momentum alive with the eye of the tiger, Ericha coordinating and taking care of business, Darlene with the creative vision and fresh dance moves, plus all the help from Joel, Jonathan, Josue, Dave, Mono, of course Hubert, helping us conquer Pacaya, Nathalie, Brandon- you guys are the best! And pretty much every day seeing all of God’s beauty, Lake Atitlan, hiking Panajachel past a 75′ high waterfall, lightning storms, amazing sunsets, and on top of a freaking live volcano walking over liquid hot magma!

We had so many more adventures, trials, and triumphs, and the theme set here would continue throughout the entire trip…things didn’t always (ever?) go quite as we planned, but God was always faithful to our efforts and He allowed us to see and capture more than we could have even planned for in any production timeline. I was inspired in many other unexpected ways, even in a coffee shop in Panajachel called Crossroads. I got to see God orchestrate events and connect us together in unexpected ways to tell His story of Grace. We may seem limited, but He has no limits, for His purpose and glory, and I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds!

The Heart Behind the Production

The Heart Behind the Production

Going Back

Have you ever been to a place (vacation destination, location for missions, etc) that you haven’t been too in a while where upon arrival it’s all familiar but either the purpose or situation dictates a totally different experience? If so, then I know how you feel! For me, going back to Guatemala to capture footage for our second film was so different than that of Reparando! The places were the same and even many faces were familiar but the experience was definitely unique.

From a pure production stand point, filming Becoming Fools was different than Reparando for many reasons. Probably the most obvious was for  Reparando we were telling a story that already happened, whereas Becoming Fools was a film we captured as a story was unfolding right before us. So if trying to plan production days and events wasn’t hard enough in a foreign country for a story that we could sort of dictate, it was even more difficult to plan for a story we could not foresee happening.

The Heart Behind the ProductionHowever from a personal standpoint having the opportunity to film another story in Guatemala allowed me to connect more to the people that were in front of the lens. Not to say during production of Reparando we didn’t have those opportunities but it being my first time in a Latin American country, knowing only “hola” and “adios” (obviously my two years of Spanish in high school 20 years ago didn’t stick) and filming with a crew I had never worked with it goes without saying that I was a little preoccupied with other things to be developing relationships.

I also think that now that I have a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son that I can relate with the production, being that of us filming kids living on the streets. This had a huge impact on me!

Seeing the Heart First Hand

One occurrence I remember vividly was the night we went to observe kids selling goods on the streets. Tyler, Matt, Josue, Ericha and myself went to local fast food establishments where kids typically sell. At one establishment we ran into a 9 year old girl named Marta. Her mannerisms, smile and attitude were so infectious that it was impossible to not pay attention to her every move and word (even though it was in an unfamiliar language). I couldn’t help thinking of my own daughter and how I would feel if she had to be on the streets late at night selling goods, it was heartbreaking. At the same time, she amazed me how smart and mature she was for her age.  Marta definitely captured my heart. I couldn’t help buying a few hair clips that she was selling for my own daughter.

The Heart Behind the Production

The 16 days I was there were very adventurous! I could talk about the zip lining near Lake Antìtlan, shooting while walking through some of the most dangerous streets in Guatemala City (with armed guards of course!), climbing and shooting on top of an active volcano and many more exciting moments such as those. However, I believe what we do changes peoples hearts. I like to make sure we focus on that aspect because as much as we impact the hearts of others, as a team, our hearts are impacted as well.

The Heart Behind the Production

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

Nothing fills the soul like applause. As the receiver and the giver.

So many emotions flood that one moment: the sense of accomplishment, the sorrow of the end, the struggle of the hard work and the desire for more. It is reflection of countless hours of rehearsal and sacrifice; and of the belief that you could be more. It’s a time to celebrate, to come together. In this moment, you realize you didn’t give up, that your voice was heard, that others accepted you.

Life without applause slowly crushes the soul. Who believes in me? Who will be my champion? Who will celebrate with me? Who will allow me to have a voice?

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

For one week in June, I sat in a dark rehearsal theater in Guatemala City watching youth from the streets who have been given the opportunity to accomplish a huge task. I wondered if most of their lives were like the dark, cold theater. No audience. Little light. Unfinished work. Doubt. Disbelief. Frustration. Silence longing for applause.

Disbelief filled my thoughts, “There was no way this was coming together.” I was here as a champion for them, but I disbelieved. Could this event really come together? Could they REALLY accomplish this task? Did they have enough determination, enough skill… enough confidence?

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

For those of you new to our story: My husband and I are connected to Guatemala through the adoption of our two sons. We wanted to have a continued investment in the country and decided to respond with our skills in film and photography by sharing inspirational stories of hope. Therefore, we produced a documentary film, Reparando, which was completed in 2010.  We are now working on a second documentary film project, Becoming Fools. This project is about young men and women who left their homes, lost their family or were abandoned as children and grew up on the streets of Guatemala.  The streets of Guatemala City are home to more than 6,000 youth. Many of these children start their life of streets as young as 8 years old. They sleep in abandoned lots, beg or steal for money and get high to forget their hunger, the cold, the rain or worse.

However, they are not alone. Individuals and organizations working in the streets are making a difference in the lives of these marginalized children and young people. And one such man had a dream to host a clown workshop.

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

The handful of youth participating in the clown workshop had the opportunity to perform in front of 400 people at a large theater in Guatemala City. The purpose of this event was to bring to awareness the situation of youth and children living on the streets of Guatemala City. This theatrical performance was the final event in a series of weeklong activities entitled Festival: Voz De Las Calles. Through laughter and learning, professional clowns have been investing time and love into this group, teaching them the beautiful art of clowning. This performance was a dream for many members of the community. It gave the youth a chance to perform with professional clowns, taught them to dream, believe, achieve and receive applause from their community.

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

Applause The Show

The story of the show reflected their real life story acted out as clowns. Here’s the synopsis: The heartwarming journey of a clown turns into a tale of friendship and adventure as he finds new friends in unusual circumstances and teaches them his art of clowning. They find new joy in their skills and each decides to follow him to “The King’s Party.” Along the way, they encounter some obstacles, but are determined to together bring laughter and faith to the community around them.

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

The Purpose Of Our Documentary

As you may know, Scott spend two months in Guatemala this spring documenting the preparation of the clown event, the progress of the rehearsal and interviewing experts about the issue of kids who live and work on the streets. I was able to join him for the last two weeks, which included the theatrical performance. It was definitely a stressful week leading up to the show. Nothing is stable or consistent in the lives of children and youth living at risk on the streets. Their thought processes, decision making and behavior only mirrors the lack of stability in their own lives. While it is extremely devastating to see their immature actions, I am humbled by their courage to continue to live, grow and find family in the midst of difficult odds. While their clown performance is only a small moment in their lives, the hope and prayers of the community is that they would all see the rewards of hard work and this would be an inspiration on a variety of levels. I know it was for me.

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

And I am extremely proud to say that even in the midst of chaos and drama, the performance was beautiful. It was an honor to stand and give applause to the youth performers. Their talent and determination is amazing. And so we will be sharing their stories AND their performance in the documentary film, Becoming Fools, which we hope to complete by the end of 2012.

Here are some more of photos of the film production, which included a trip to Lake Atitlan and some underwater filming for me. This area has a special place in the story of the project; and is now one of my favorite places in Guatemala! And we got to have a little fun too. We also spent time with a sweet group of siblings who recently tragically lost their mother.

You have the opportunity to join the applause. We will share more about our documentary as it unfolds, however you can support the project now through a donation.

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

A Moment of Applause Fills the Soul

Photography by Amelia Moore for Athentikos.

We Believe Because We Are Becoming Fools

We Believe Because We Are Becoming Fools

Guatemala’s statistics seem hopeless, but we believe we can make a difference because we are Becoming Fools. We spent the afternoon with an incredibly sweet family who are featured in Becoming Fools. A single mother who was deaf and mute, was murdered in February, leaving her four children to live with their grandmother. That is sad enough … but the story continues. These children sell candy on the streets at night to help their grandmother make ends meet financially. In fact, the eleven year old son had to sell candy on the streets the day after his mother’s death in order to pay for her coffin. This reality is what we hope to document in our documentary, Becoming Fools.

We Believe Because We Are Becoming Fools

I stepped on a plane on April 23 to travel to Guatemala to continue production … and haven’t stopped since. We continue to document the story that unfolds before us. It is sad at times, and often overwhelmingly so. But we have also witnessed incredible joy as street youth prepare for their theatrical event on June, 16. These precious kids who were once only familiar faces have become friends and we are thrilled to watch them grow. It will be difficult to capture their stage performance because I know our eyes will be full of tears!

As we had hoped, Becoming Fools is more than a film. We believe it is a movement!

Momentum has grown in ways that we could have never imagined. In addition to film production, we have engaged in meetings with NGO’s, GO’s, churches and media to plan the week long event named Festival: Voz De Las Calles (Voice of the Streets). Groups and organizations are collaborating like never before, and rallying together around the idea that “together is better”.

We are more than tired. Our journey has been a trail of impossibilities and we still have a ways to go. We are the under dog – under staffed, under funded, and told by many that we cannot accomplish what we set out to do. But we choose to believe that all things are possible because we are Becoming Fools.

We still need your help.

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