A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I was visited by the very unwelcome [dark passenger] of creativity. Well, my friends, he has officially left the building.
More after the jump...
It was new year's eve and I had just rolled my butt out of bed. As usual, I immediately went for the aroma of fresh coffee brewing in the kitchen, first. I was hoping to find a celebratory breakfast for champions waiting on the table but no such luck. The coffee would suffice as I had lots of work to catch up on and the boost would add some needed synergy to my typical morning energy levels.
After about a half a cup of the good stuff, I decided to then sit down and read emails. To my surprise, I saw one from long time friend, Mike Gamble. Mike and I hadn't spoken in quite some time. It was a treat to see his name staring at me through my inbox. Sure, there is the typical Facebook contact but nothing on the personal level. Good old email, in my opinion, has that personal connection that is often lost by the mass message production on the Facebook assembly line. Even more surprising was the contents of the message. Mikey was back in Philly for the new year. This is significant since he no longer lives around the corner. Gamble now calls Sweden his home. Yup, Sweden, the country across the big lake. Although last minute, we discussed the possibility of getting a shoot together. When I mean last minute, I mean last minute. I was late morning when I read the email. By noontime we were on the phone collaborating about how the shoot would go down. The shoot, may I add, would be happening about two hours after hanging up the phone. Talk about some fast preparation to get the creative juices flowing again. That dark passenger was nowhere in sight. Good riddance, for now.
Who Is Mike Gamble?
Before I get into the rest of the adventure, let me explain who the star of this shoot is and why I was excited to receive his email.
Mike was born in Hartford, Connecticut. We met when he moved to Philly to attend Drexel University. At that time I was a wet behind the ears Rowan University student who was slinging drinks at a bar in Center City Philadelphia. The bar, Roosevelt's, located at 23rd and Walnut streets was a popular spot among Drexel, University of Penn, Wharton and other nearby universities. It was there that Gamble and I became fast and close friends.
Mike's training is in the world of dance. He has grown into one hell of a choreographer. It was in Philadelphia that he garnered most of his training in West African, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz, House, Breaking and Capoeira. While in Philly he guest performed with Gwendolyn Bye and Dance Del Bello dance companies, choreographed for the Drexel University Dance Ensemble and Dance Team. Mike Gamble was also an original founding member of FLOMotion, an international Hip Hop dance company. In the summer of 2000, Mike made dance history, becoming the first (and only) male to complete the final cuts of the Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team.
In 2003, Gamble moved to Los Angeles and quickly became quite active in the commercial industry performing (dancing, acting and modeling) in music videos and commercials including work with artists Leela James, Chris Cornell and India Arie. He also has worked with corporate giants such as Target, Nike, Apple and Reebok. Along with the commercial market, as if that wasn't enough, Mikey has produced, choreographed and directed burlesque companies who have performed in and around Los Angeles, Reno, Laughlin and Las Vegas with artists including Panic!, At the Disco and R. Kelly, as well as companies including SPIKE TV and Trashy Lingerie. Not too shabby Mr. Gamble, not too shabby.
While Gamble continues to work in front of the camera, he has also been focusing his talents behind the scenes with the production and education through the arts, having choreographed and Emmy-nominated children's television program, producing and choreographing numerous events and shows, while also co-founding and running an international management agency with his long-time friend and former agent, who herself, was one of the top agents at the top two dance agencies in New York and Los Angeles. His passion for spreading knowledge and the joy of dance has recently taken him on an international journey as he relocated in 2009 to Gothenburg, Sweden. Since moving across the globe Mike has quickly developed an awesome reputation in Sweden, as well as, Norway and Denmark and as would be expected, he doesn't plan on stopping there.
By the way, I will be posting more of the photos when they are ready. Check back here soon for that link.