Shunned by the community, incredibly naturally talented, a huge audience, sidestepping the struggle everyone else has had to go through and gets catapulted into the mainstream. Inspiring a generation to take up the sport, gains investment for a whole industry, is single handily responsible for opening up a true financial avenue along side major sporting media, like EXPN, the boxing federation and more.
There’s an inevitable shock coming to the tricking world. Its a simple predictable one that I doubt many people will admit, or be looking forward to the day that happens. It’ll be a day when the community implodes on itself, internal battles break out and once die hard groups divide. From that day on, things will never be the same. There will be no going back. Some will fight and hang on to what they know, but the struggle will be too great and eventually, along with the masses, they’ll cave in and join in, or burn out and quietly fade into silence.
What am I talking about? The day when tricking becomes mainstream. 99% would love it to be today, 1% will never want it. Probably 50% of the 99% will only want it to be so, if they are in agreement with who steers it into the mainstream. If well known big names are pulled into make it happen, the community will love it, embrace it, cheer and champion it. However we are rarely that lucky.
It is more likely (I can pretty much guarantee it) that it will be out of everyones control. Left in the hands of a promoter, a network, and a relative newbie tricker. Don’t believe me? read on.
For those of you that aren’t aware. Kimbo Slice is a brand new MMA fighter. Introduced through an intense distribution of backyard fighting videos throughout YT that many have gained over a million hits each. This successful shrapnel got the attention of promoters and paved the way for him to fast track straight to the MMA big leagues. No working up through the ranks, earning his stripes and working his ass off for peanuts – we’re talking mainstream TV, interviews, magazine front covers and cash.
Its like he’s become MMAs Eminem. And they aren’t happy about it. Spiteful venom is being thrown in his direction, the community once so strong and united, is now split – the newbies love him, the old schoolers despise him. But one thing is for sure, he’s not going away and there’s no going back.
This same situation can happen to Tricking. Tricking is recreational fun and friendly competitiveness until someone gets noticed, that lucky break that throws them directly into the spotlight to represent the whole sport – with or without the communities consent.
Do I want it to happen? The discovery of a new talent: yes. The collapse of a community: no.
This is why I know trickers need to get organised. Build a community not on self promotion and ego stroking, but on serious business strategies that set up the foundations for the future.
The Writers Union brought the Entertainment industry to its knee’s because they were prepared. Equity cards united Actors for years protecting their rights and defending the way their image was represented within the media that they worked. There’s loads more examples; The UKSA is a skateboarding association set up in the UK specifically to deal with all the sh*t skateparks that were being built around the country, to try and face up to and rectify the situation and to introduce formality and structure to a sport and is increasingly faced with being introduced to the Olympics in the same way that snowboarding was.
I’m not talking about a tricking Union, but a united global association – something that excludes no-one and unifies everyone, yet more importantly, establishes a clear point of contact for the worlds media to go through before stepping in and bleeding everyone dry.
Tricking needs to get organised, and fast. And it will only happen from the top down. From the big names and YT celebrities pulling together, putting their egos aside and facing up to the fact that if they don’t, then the thing they love most will fragment and divide, leaving the much deserved out of the loop, whilst an anonymous ‘Kimbo’ steps in and wrecks the party.
I’m writing this in the hope that someone steps up and seriously considers it. Not for personal gain, not to make money, not to take the credit and not to launch a product range, but to become that one person to start the ball rolling that do whats necessary to set the precedent for the future, to protect the thing they love the most to unite everyone that serious – and most importantly to show to the outside world that they can’t just step in and wreck everything people love in the name of media and cash.
Don’t think that its hard. Its not. I’m the director of several companies in the UK. The format is the same wherever you live.
1) pick a company name
2) register it (http://companieshouse.co.uk) – not sure of the US equivalent
3) assign Directors (any number of)
4) designate a secretary and treasurer
5) invite people to join
6) meet regularly and document it with minutes
7) submit accounts (for non-profits, that’s easy)
8) be public in your chosen media (website)
Repeat as required.
The hardest part and biggest excuse people will give is the meeting regularly and documenting it. But with the Internet that’s easily possible through recording a Skype conversation. There’s no excuse, but laziness. People are already devoting their lives to the art they love, why not do it with a purpose, other than self gratification and benefit?
Just a handful of key people are needed. That’s all – and if you’ve read to the end of this post, then you’re probably one of them.
(this has been an excercise in creative fiction)