Sam den Hollander
At the end of 2018 I heard I received the funding of fonds voor cultuurparticipatie for my development in the arts. Now, 5 months later, it’s about that time. I am flying to the States in 6 days and I am truly excited to learn more about the popping culture.
When I am in America I would love to have conversations with elders of the popping community. And, if possible, have the opportunity to interview them. To hear and learn about their stories, because in my opinion it is both very educational as inspirational to hear those.
I think it’s exciting and quit a responsibility to take an interview. And because I have never done this before, I felt the necessity to prepare myself. Therefore I spoke to my sister Romanee, who interviews for her profession and makes great podcasts of those stories. She gave me some very practical tips and tricks to put into use. Additionally she gave me a book filled with information on how to document stories, optional questions to ask and to spark some inspiration. Also Ryan Webb felt as the right person to give me some extra tips. Because he is guiding the ‘Urban Dance and Dialogues’ of Funk in Focus. A platform where he starts, and shares, conversations and document those stories for educational purposes.
But, in the end, nothing beats practice. I can have all this knowledge but I still need my practice time, just like dancing. So I asked Sam to help me with this. Sam and I have been in the Dutch dancing scene together for a long time. We used to only meet each other on the battle floor. But fortunately at this point we feel the necessity of exchanging on a more profound level and to build together. With his interest in popping and open character, he felt like the right match for a first interview practice session.
We met on a beautiful day in a park in Hilversum. Sitting there, I must say, I was a little nervous. Because it wasn’t a ‘normal’ conversation like I am used to do. This time I had to take the lead likewise I felt responsible for the way the conversation went due to the fact that I was the interviewer. Dealing with insecurities as: am I crossing a border, what can I ask, what do I want to know, does this questions make any sense? But this feeling of insecurity quickly left me. I was able to better focus on the conversation we had, to go with the flow and to trust the process. It was nice to do this exercise with someone who is familiar and with whom I know I can be bold enough to ask anything. And if not that he feels comfortable enough to indicate his own boundaries.
He shared stories about his childhood, what his interests and dreams were at the time. Explaining his connection with music, which music was played at home and what the first song was he heard. In different periods in his life he has the tendency to have some favorite songs that he loves to listen too. I asked him to share a song with me that touches him at this moment. The way he spoke about it inspired me to make a small portrait of this.
I am delighted to share this portrait of Sam (which is in Dutch). A peek into a moment we shared, when we sat together in the park and he told me his story. For me this portrait is much more than him explaining about a song, it tells me so much about who he is. Taking the time to truly listen to someone if very valuable. Hearing about his childhood gave me such a better understanding of the person I am meeting during our jamsessions. Thank you Sam for being so open to this and sharing about yourself.
For me its a good preparation. Listening to the interview again and reflecting on the conversation. Asking myself how I can improve my questions and how te better guide the interview in the direction I want to go to. But also learning to eventually bring everything together in both an inspiring as educational portrait.
Feel free to explain something about a song that touches you and why, in off these comments. I would love to hear it