The life of a street performer is always unpredictable, but sometimes magical. Follow five musicians as they navigate the colorful streets of Seattle and confront a world driven by the relentless allure of fame. This award-winning film raises questions about the nature of context and how it can affect our perception of value.
Using a richly woven fabric of raw footage, insightful interviews and a compelling soundtrack, Find Your Way prompts audiences to become more aware of how their own preconceptions of "what's good" can prevent them from appreciating something's natural beauty.
Featuring Grammy winning violinist Joshua Bell, Pulitzer Prize winning author Gene Weingarten and 90's rocker Chris Ballew (The Presidents of the United States), this film will forever change the way you think about creativity in our culture.
"This film will make you question how you look at art."
Pickford Film Center, Bellingham, WA
Filmslang Film Festival, Lexington, KY
CBGB Music & Film Festival, New York, NY
Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival, Flagstaff, AZ
Tacoma International Film Festival, Tacoma WA
WorldFest Film Festival - Houston, TX
Spokane Film Festival - Spokane, WA
Breckenridge Film Festival, Breckenridge, CO
Gregory Paul spent most of his life as a musician in upstate New York before moving to Seattle in 2009. His work has been heared by millions of people, although they might never know it.
In 2004 an NBC broadcast of the summer olympics featured one of Greg's original recordings, much to his suprise. The BBC and PBS have also used his music and at one time his up-and-coming band signed a lucrative record deal to the tune of six-figures.
Currently making a living as a full-time street performer, when asked if he has a backup plan he responds, "I'm living it."
Sadie Ava has been performing since she was 14. Finding her way to Seattle with her mother Holly and their musical friend Greg Paul, she's currently gaining attention as an up-and-coming indie grunge star with her funky and talented group The Sundries.
Sadie tried her hand at street performing but her real passion is on stage in front of appreciative crowds. She takes her music very personally and takes it personally when others don't.
After studying audio engineering Whitney Mongé realized performing was her true passion and began as a busker on the streets of Seattle.
Whitney is on the rise with powerful vocals to project her powerful lyrics, gaining attention from local radio, television and even ESPN. Currently on a self-propelled west-coast tour promoting a new single, it's only a matter of time until the world notices her.
Emery has been performing for people on the street for over 10 years. After leaving behind a life in the military and a job as a youth minister, he dedicated himself to bringing joy to people in a raw and emotional way.
You can find him almost every day on the same corner playing his heart out. He has dedicated his life to street performing and sees it as a spiritual ritual that keeps him in touch with a higher path.
Ronn Benway left behind two record stores to become a full-time musician. After raising a daughter and seeing his way out of a troubled marriage, he set out on the road with nothing but a guitar, a backpack and a book of songs to see where they could take him.
Today he hosts a local television show and open mic in York, Pennsylvania and plays music with friends whenever he gets a chance.
"Find Your Way challenges our larger sense of the world we have been living in, of decisions we have made, of views we hold. I almost felt like the movie cracked me open and said 'Here, have a fresh outlook on everything."
Joshua Bell is arguably the most famous violinist of our time. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17 and has since won numerous awards, including a Grammy, and performed with countless orchestras, conductors and celebrities.
In 2007 he participated in an experiment where he performed in a D.C. subway station during rush hour to witness how crowds of busy commuters would react to a world-class violinist passing himself off as a common busker.
The results were published by Gene Weingarten in the Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post article, Pearls Before Breakfast. His experience provides a rare insight into how the context of street performing can affect one's perception of artistic value.
Gene is a two-time pulitzer prize winning columnist who wrote an article in the Washington Post, Pearls Before Breakfast, that impacted the world in ways he never expected.
After walking passed talented street performers day after day who were repeatedly snubbed by passersby in shameful fashion, Gene concocted an experiment with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. That experiment went "viral" and today it's a well known cultural story that continues to gain attention for what it says about the way we perceive artistic value.
Could one of the world's most talented musicians cut through the hum drum noise of D.C. rush hour? This was the question Gene asked, and the results may surprise you.
Mark is Chief of Design at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Gene Weingarten interviewed Mark after running his experiment with Joshua about the nature of context and how it affects our perception of value.
Mark recognizes that the art world, like the music industry, can be a fickle and sometimes confusing landscape where the frame in which we may or may not find something (or someone) can determine its worldy value.
"You can take many paintings out of [The National Gallery] and put them in a flea market and they
would effectively lose their value," Mark proclaims in the film. Hard to argue with that.
Chris started his musical career performing on the streets of Boston. It was there he learned to be calm and confident in overwhelming environments and says he felt successful and content just being able to get people's attention.
After meeting the now world famous musician known as Beck through a fellow busker, the two collaborated briefly and Chris toured with his band as a bassist during Beck's rise to stardom. Eventually the two went their separate ways and Chris formed his own successful band, The Presidents of the United States of America. Eventually the lifestyle of a famous rocker was too much for Chris and he left the band to pursue more personal and meaningful projects.
Pete Stewart is a grammy winning music producer. Taking an interest in young emerging talent, he works with up and coming musicians to hone their sound and produce high quality albums ready for mainstream audiences.
After years in the business he's learned a thing or two about "making it" as a creative individual and strives to be happy with his work first and pleasing an ever changing and demanding music industry second.
Every once in a while that special project will come along that seems to validate all the years of hard work - like engineering Macklemore's platinum album The Heist.
Portland Film Festival, Portland, OR
Awareness Festival, Santa Monica, CA
Desert Rocks Film & Music, Hesperia, CA
SIFF Uptown. Seattle, WA
Brewery Arts, Carson City, NV
Magic Lantern Theater, Spokane, WA
Jewelbox Theater, Seattle WA
The Indie Fest, La Jolla, CA