Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Too Long

Wow! It's been over a year since the last time I wrote anything on this blog. That's pretty bad. So instead of talking about it, I'll just get back into the swing of it with material. Here's one of the music videos I made with the help of friends this past year. She's an up an coming DC artist named Dionne. You can check her website out here.

Dionne - "Move" from Kevin Sampson on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sleepwalker Showcase: Darrell Kendall

When I came up with the idea to do this blog it was because on this road to fulfilling my dreams I need inspiration. I figured that other Sleepwalkers out there needed inspiration as well. Darrell Kendall is one of those people that embody the type of inspiration I was thinking about.

I met Darrell over a year ago at my current job. He’ll give you about a day to get situated in the office, but once you talk to him long enough you’ll know he’s got a passion for something outside the office. That thing is racing motorcycles. He exudes this passion. Whether it’s the photos posted around his desk, the screensaver of his bike on his computer, the apps that he downloads on his iphone to help him keep track of his bike, or the conversations he has with you...you’ll know he loves bikes and racing!

You’re thinking, “ok, but that’s no different from anyone else with a dream”. Yeah, but do you work a 9-5,then go deliver pizzas and put the money strictly in your passion? Do you write for a magazine in your passion in between all of that to help with getting extra dates (as in time) on the track? Not only that, in the short time he’s been riding at the track, he’s gone from intermediate to advanced.

A big thing that inspires me is his drive and commitment to studying the craft of racing bikes. As he told me, “It’s not that I really have determination, it’s that I have a desire to do one thing and one thing only…and everything else revolves around that!” He’s always telling me about the new thing that he learned about bike mechanics to help him race faster. He’s always demonstrating the technique and posture needed in riding, and all the hard work paying off for him! Nicknamed “Spider Monkey” at the track for his long limbs and speed on his bike, Darrell has definitely grown into a Sleepwalker to watch!

When did you first start sleepwalking?
It’s tough to say when I first started chasing after my dream. It’s not like I grew up thinking, “I am going to race motorcycles.” It is a dream that has just developed over time. I would say that after not having the financial means to ride the track at all last summer, I had enough. It came to a point where my pride was shadowed by my love of riding the track. It was at that point that I was willing to do whatever it took to get the bike back on the racetrack. I started writing again, I started delivering pizzas for the cash I needed, and I started to entrench myself totally into the sport. When Trackday Magazine and Lithium Motorsports decided to sponsor me as a trackday rider, it was definitely a huge boost. Now, I have no intention of letting up. I just made my trackday schedule, and I am going to be out on the track nearly every other weekend this summer. I really cannot wait to be back on my bike!

What motivates you to keep going after your dream?

It’s fun. I don’t think I will ever get to a point that my hobby consumes me to the point of not being fun. When it does, then I need to reevaluate me intentions. I highly doubt that I will ever be fast enough to make money doing this, so there is no reason to put that kind of pressure on myself. I am going strive to lower lap times, to push the bike as far as I can (without being stupid about it), and to continually learn more about the technical side of the sport. After all, I don’t want to be just a good rider, I want to be my own crew chief. I want to understand the bike. I am simply amazed at the guys that can look at a tire, see a ridge on the tread and immediately diagnose and fix the problem. I will be that guy. There so much to know about everything on and off the bike, and I want to know it.

Wake up: What have been some of the biggest challenges in going after your dream?
The biggest challenge in this sport is the cost. A bike is expensive, but that is just the beginning. When you start adding up the cost in parts and upgrades that you have to make to a stock motorcycle track-worthy it gets a little overwhelming. On top of that there are costs for things like protective gear: helmet ($500), Suit ($400-$1200 for entry level), Gloves ($120), back protector ($100), and the list goes on. Also, track time, tires, lodging, and transportation all cost money. It’s easier to (responsibly) remain oblivious to how much I am really spending. Again, THANK GOD for the guys at Lithium!

The other challenge is its effect on my social life. Few people get this passionate about one thing, and therefore don’t understand why I do this. It really has consumed me, and I am okay with the ramifications. I have given up weekends to make money, I save my money for parts, and I often forego parties and happy hours to do something related to this. That’s okay with me. Real friends will understand. Oh yeah, lets not forget that people judge people that race anything…especially in DC. In many minds I might as well wear overalls and spit tobacco! That’s okay though, I know that I am having more fun than them anyway!

Don’t sleep on this: What’s one thing you have learned in your craft that fellow sleepwalkers shouldn’t sleep on?
There are two things: 1) There are a lot of unexpected things that can be learned when you immerse yourself in anything, so be ready for that. I have struggled all my life with focus. Look at my report cards from K-12. They all say that I had trouble paying attention that I couldn’t sit still, that I talked a lot. Ask my co-workers now, they will agree. But, it has actually gotten better. At the track, when my helmet is on, my mind is clear. I have one goal and one goal only. Be fast. Sure I think about things like braking points, hitting the apexes, getting on the throttle earlier, but in the end it all relates to being fast. I have never been able to channel that energy before. It surprises me all the time.

The second thing that I learned (or had reaffirmed) is that anything that is worth doing takes hard work. No one is going to hand me a MotoGP bike and say “have at it!” No one is going to buy me track time, or new leathers (though if you are reading this and feel like doing so, I can send you information on how to do that!). I cannot download riding skills into my brain. I know that if I am going to do this, it is going to be me that makes it work. Sure I have a supporting cast that will give me the occasional motivational “rah rah speech” but this dream will take work, and lots of it. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Top 5 accomplished sleepwalkers you admire in your craft and why?

Ben Spies- He never stops quieting the haters. That and he is tall, so I love to study his riding style
Melissa Paris- She has been riding motorcycles for only a few years and has done A LOT in that time! Last year she got a wild card to ride World Supersport, and the nay-sayers were citing her gender as the only reason she got it. In the end, she did what it took, bottom line!
Valentino Rossi- His on-track skills are second to no one that has ever sat on a motorcycle, more than that though, he redefined the role of a professional racer off the track. No one has more fun than Vale. As long as he is riding, I will be fan!
4/5) Tim Hull and Brian Wink- These guys are Control Riders (coaches) with NESBA (a trackday organization) that take their time and knowledge and share it with aspiring riders. They have been instrumental in developing my riding and my passion. I can’t wait until the day I can pass them!

You heard it here first folks! Don't be surprised if he's the next Rossi! lol. Maybe not Rossi, but I have no doubt Darrell will be successful in racing. Darrell Kendall, aka Spider Monkey, aka Mr. 927... a Sleepwalker to watch!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who Is Chelsey Hood? for Viewing

Hey everyone! Here is the film in its entirety.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And the winner is...

What up folks? It's been a while, but things are really going well. I have a few showcases in the bag that will be coming your way soon. Great news..."Who is Chelsey Hood?" won two awards at American University's Visions 2010 ceremony. The awards were for Best Cinematography, and Outstanding Narrative Production.

You can check out the scoop and watch the film here:

Plus, I have to tell you about an awesome show called Metro Monsters. In fact, why tell you about it when you can watch it.
This show has been created by myself and some of my friends at American University. Get ready to see more from them! In fact, you may catch a familiar face in the Chili Monsters episode.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guys...Give up the Seat

Alright. It may be because I’m a southern boy, it may be because I was raised this way, but where are people’s manners today? This will be short and sweet. I’ll speak on an isolated incident/gripe but obviously there are more examples of selfish mindsets in society these days. Here in DC it kills me to see so many men riding the train and not getting up for ladies/children/elderly people. Day after day as I ride the Metro I see it happen time and time again, men sitting while women are getting tossed back and forth on the train. I’ve seen occasions where guys have asked and women have said “no thanks”, but they are few and far between. Now I understand that these are “modern times” and men don’t slay dragons or put their coats over puddles anymore (I doubt they ever did) but come on. Have we grown that cold as men that we can’t give our seat up like our mothers taught us? All I’m saying is if you don’t have some health problems, and it hasn’t been one of those days where you’re about to loose it...get up.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sleepwalker Showcase: Paul Brawley Jr.

It was the first time I had ever taken photos for a magazine...forget a cover shoot! I was feeling excited and nervous. My contact was a man named Paul Brawley, Jr., the Distribution & Marketing Manager for IMARA Woman Magazine. We corresponded over the phone several times up until the day of the shoot. As I pulled into the driveway where we were taking the photos I saw a young man walking towards the car. It was Paul, and I was surprised because I thought I was dealing with a man outside of my age range. He had his stuff together, and had a passion for the family magazine (IMARA) his parents had started.

Paul Brawley, Jr. is the son of Paul & Wendy Brawley, the founders of IMARA Woman Magazine. IMARA has been around for 9 years out of Columbia SC and is a personal growth and lifestyle magazine. Entrepreneurship is in his blood. He attended Francis Marion University in Florence for two years before becoming a father to his daughter Zaria. It was during that time that he really started Sleepwalking. In recent years he founded with Young Political Minds:

“Young Political Minds (YPM) was an idea I came up with about 3 years ago. It was designed to get the attention of our young people about politics and community issues in a fun and new way. I was sitting on the idea for the right time to present it. The 2008 Presidential Primary Election was the perfect time to launch the statewide organization. We started out with Four members and now we have more than 300 active member across  SC and the world. YPM has held meet and greets, youth rallies, photo shoots, and interviews.  My biggest goal for YPM is to stay connected to the young people. In order to do this, we must continue to stay where young people are...I think that is key. People always say they want to help the youth but are never seen hanging out in places where the young people hang.”

Currently enrolled at Midlands Technical College for a Pre-Health and Business Degree. As the Founder of Young Political Minds and the Distribution & Marketing Manager for IMARA Woman Magazine, Paul is a Sleepwalker with a lot on his plate. I asked him the top 5 Sleepwalker questions and this is what he had to say:
When did you first start Sleepwalking?
I first started chasing my dreams about 7 years ago when I became a Father! I knew I had to step my game up to provide for me and my daughter.

What motivates you to keep going after your dream?
Haters are what motivates me to achieve my dreams!! I Love the Hate, it lets me know that I am doing something positive. My second motivating factor is my family. I was always raised to believe it wasn’t anything we couldn’t accomplish together as a family.

Wake up: What have been some of the biggest challenges in going after your dream?
My biggest challenge is to remain grounded and focused. I love to stay connected and I feel that my hard work is finally starting to pay off.

Don’t sleep on this: What’s one thing you have learned in your craft that fellow Sleepwalkers shouldn’t sleep on?
The number one law I learned from my craft is loyalty. Hard work, loyalty, and remaining grounded keeps me on top of everything.

Top 5 accomplished Sleepwalkers you admire in your craft and why?
My role model in politics is my Father, Paul Brawley Sr. Richland County Auditor. He is the first African American to be elected countywide. Other Sleepwalkers include President Obama,  Tupac, Nas, and Malcolm X.

Paul is very passionate about his jobs because he can see the positive changes being made in the communities across SC and the world. “I feel if we can change peoples health, politics, and keep our youth involved then our work will continue to speak for itself!”

For more information on this Sleepwalker, visit myspace.com/youngpoliticalmindssc and www.imarawoman.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year folks! Did anyone make a resolution? I don't make resolutions, but I do set goals. Is there a difference? I think so. In my mind a goal gives me something to aspire to, but a resolution is something I'm resolved to do immediately. (Yeah it gives me some wiggle room. lol)

This year is going to be a great year! I can feel it. I should be releasing some new Sleepwalker Showcases soon enough and get this thing back in gear! For now, please enjoy the trailer from my short film. I'll be in touch!