Whenever you set out to tackle a project, especially one that involves a multitude of people, you hope that most will be supportive in a multitude of ways. Support is not always in the financial sense but just a simple “great idea” or “good luck” really can go a long way – especially depending on who says it to you.
When I started out on the venture of producing a film documentary on the history of Armenian music in Detroit I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be by my friends and the Armenian community at large. As I mentioned above, I was fully prepared for comments like “waste of time” or “whats the point of this?” commentary. To my pleasant surprise, I never received (to date!) any of those phrases. Honestly. Everyone I have spoken to about this project has been supportive and inquisitive in the positive sense. Even non-Armenian colleagues of mine have supported and continue to check on the progress of the project.
I think sometimes we are ingrained that people will be against what we are doing for reasons of jealousy or uncomprehending of a subject that we end up put our guard in place and squint waiting for the negative comments to fly in our face.
Not every idea is a winner and sometimes it makes sense to have nay-sayers shoot holes into an idea. For this project – I have had nothing but support. This support shows me that I am certainly doing a great thing. I truly feel that homage needs to be made for those Armenian musicians that settled in Detroit and made it their home and by doing so brought life again to our folk and dance songs.
I have to believe that the majority of people who enjoy learning and have interest in history want to engage in a wide variety of subjects including origins. My project has all the elements that will allow for a broad audience to want to watch and learn. The focus of Detroit has only increased in the last few years due to the negativity of bankruptcy, corruption and stereotyping. I am a firm believer that without a successful Detroit, the rest of our state will fail. Detroit is slowing making a comeback and people want to be part of it and also embrace stories surrounding Motown. It peaks their interest to hear about the Armenians — a nationality that many in the Detroit area still don’t know much about. You combine Detroit with Armenians and under a non-political story that surrounds music – you have now got people’s interests.
A story needs to be told and I feel a sense of obligation to show the heritage of my people in the melting pot of Detroit.