For those about to Brock


Brock Wilbur is one of those performers who seems to come out of nowhere, and then they’re EVERYWHERE. I don’t think he’d have it any other way; the man’s certainly got work ethic.

Back when I lived in Philly, my knitting group had a favorite neologism: dumbition

dum·bi·tion [dum-bish-uhn]: noun. Related forms: dumbitious, adjective; dumbitiously, adverb. 1. the earnest desire to achieve something of a degree of difficulty and/or within a timeframe deemed unimaginable by mere mortals. ex. In November, she decided to hand knit all of her Christmas gifts, a rather dumbitious goal

Calling someone dumbitious is not an insult because nothing about the word implies that the person does not achieve their seemingly insurmountable task. Personally, I would say the bulk of the dumbitious tasks I’ve undertaken have actually worked out, no matter how crazy they seemed at the time. For me they are often knitting related, but it could refer to a writing deadline or a complicated recipe or, I don’t know, trying to make a side business out of photography. Regardless of the form it takes, it’s the spirit of dumbitiousness, the guts to say “Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I’m going to do it anyway” that really speaks to me. And I appreciate that quality in others, like Brock. It’s exciting to see what dumbitious folks will attempt next, and astonishing to see them actually get it done. Dumbition inspires dumbitiousness in others, because if they can pull off their wild aspirations, why can’t you?
Formerly a screenwriter, Brock had been doing standup comedy for just about a year when he managed to pull off what takes most comedians a decade. He put together an hour’s worth of material and shot a live comedy special called 28 Years Later. Dumbitious, definitely, but he did it, and it’s great. Kudos to you, Brock, my brother in dumbition.
I was happy that in the run-up to his taping, he asked me to do some promotional shots for him. Brock was such a hoot and completely unafraid to lose himself in the moment for a great photo. 
Initially I thought it was going to be really difficult to shoot Brock, when he arrived and I discovered that he is a literal giant (about 6’7″). Me? Not so much. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to get up high enough so I wasn’t shooting up his nose all the time, but I think we managed to work it out without compromising the photos at all. These surprises, and the people I get to know better over the course of an afternoon, are what keep these shoots so fun for me.
Brock also gave me a special gift. At the end of his comedy special, he credits me for promotional photography, which is not only my first film credit, but my first credit anywhere with my new name. I could get used to it…

2 thoughts on “For those about to Brock

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