My Take: I Create So I Am Not Erased

By: Funkuin Sam

I’m almost certain I’m terrified of being mediocre. If I’m passionate about something I have to be dramatic about it. I feel that’s the only way I can get my point across. My dad always told me, “We’re different from them. You’re different from them. We have to work harder and smarter.”

I never truly understood what he meant by that until my family moved to this country from Cameroon. I understand now. There’s a bit of a disconnect you feel from society.

That usually happens when you realize “Fuck me, some people hate me for the simple fact that I’m alive”. Not only alive, but actually living with so much inside of me. I’ve always been too much. A black, gay, immigrant. That’s already too much- can I be any more marginalized?

I don’t know if my excessive personality is because of the many identities I bear but I think it sure does play an active role. I used to bear a grudge towards myself for being the way I am. I would notice how most people seemed so comfortable in their own skin and I just felt as if I was wearing a skin two sizes too small. It took a toll on me when I was younger because I felt so different from everyone else. I just had so much inside of me I just constantly felt so uncomfortable as if I was doing something wrong all the time. Every little feeling inside of me constantly heightened. If I felt excited about something I was overly excited. If I was sad about something I was overly upset. There was no in between. I didn’t think it was possible for me to find peace in something because I constantly felt like an active volcano.

I know a lot of people doubted me and didn’t think I would find something concrete to hold onto because I was just too much. I was starting to believe them. That was until I found the Lost Boys and I was able to express myself and channel everything inside of me.

When people ask me who the lost boys are or what it means I begin to feel overwhelmed. More than I usually do because to me the lost boys means absolutely everything. It is my livelihood. I’d like to think this experience began in high school. That’s when I met my lost boys. Then college came around most of them went to Rutgers and me and another lost boy went to Seton Hall. We’ve always kind of been connected, even if we didn’t know it. To me timing means everything. I always say trust your timing it never fails you. While I was in college I just started to feel even more uncomfortable in my own skin. I always had a sense it wasn’t for me but living in a world we do I could never express that. I started running away to Rutgers and it just felt easy being around these guys. I didn’t have to hide who I was. I felt acknowledged.

Regardless of how weird or obscure or even too much I felt just enough around them. That’s when I truly understood there was something here most people couldn’t dare understand. Not just with us but with every other millennial group of friends. Something so unequivocally audacious yet pure. The timing felt just right. That’s when the lost boys formed. A group of young adults living their truths while delivering pure and raw truth to what it means to live as a millennial in our generation.

From weekend warrior menacing activities in a festival porta potty to unfiltered social justice warriors in a suburban basement. Showing you the realities of Generation Y through visuals that define us while using music we deeply identify with as our soundtrack. Reality television is entertaining but it’s missing the one component it promised…reality.

I want this to be a platform, a way for the world to understand what it truly means for us living in this reality. Lost Boys are meant to offend and contradict because it’s real life and that’s what happens. People and ideas change and that’s the truth of the matter. It’s not just one thing. It’s not just a documentary. It’s not just a social commentary. It’s not just music videos.

It’s an experience. It’s something you feel and relate to.

When I’m in the process of creating I become somewhat isolated from the world. The process itself is an emotionally exhausting journey that bleeds me dry. I am so meticulous about everything. When it comes to shooting I’m pretty brazen about it. I shoot every little aspect when I’m with my lost boys. My camera is always in hand. To the point that when I’m not using it, when I’m not filming, I feel so extraterrestrial in a sense. Kinda like I’m not really myself away from my camera. When I can’t bring my camera to a certain place I become somewhat disinterested. I feel as if I’ve left a part of me at home. It’s definitely a security blanket.

When it’s time to editing I have to constantly break myself down. Since I give everything inside of me I feel I can’t be a real human being, because I have nothing left in me most days. Sometimes it gets to the point where I don’t answer anyone for days. I’m temporarily stuck in a whirling vortex of emotion and it’s up to me to tranquilize.

There’s this responsibility I feel to deliver absolutely everything I hold inside of me. I’ve started this ordeal with my closest friends and all I want is to exhibit our relationships with such balance and dexterity. That’s why it’s up to me to mold this properly and that takes time. Trust in it.

This mentally and physically damaging odyssey is yet the most satisfying euphoria known to any artist. Every single string of feeling inside of you, molded and constructed by bare consciousness, is now in physical form. I’m able to chop and arrange visuals from something I filmed myself then manufacture it to express all the thoughts and emotions inside. There’s no other feeling like knowing you built something from scratch.

Pure bliss.

Mediocrity is not a choice for someone destined to fail in a society built against them. Yet for some reason I know because of who I am destined for an unequivocal amount of greatness.

I used to feel so guilty for thinking so highly of myself but it wasn’t until after I understood that in a world run by white straight conservative men I was somewhat conditioned to feel guilty about almost everything. Sickening.

They don’t want us knowing just how capable and brilliant we are because once we do they know there’s really no stopping us. That anger and spite towards me only fuels me. We’re different from them. You’re different from then. We have to work harder and smarter.

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Funkuin has always felt the need to express her impassioned opinions no matter how reputable. Building an experience from the time spent with her friends and the sudden cruelty sometimes felt by reality, she'd like to one day change the design of visual representation. Lost Boys is her undeniable livelihood as she's never not seen around her friends with a camera. Funkuin along with her gang of misfits express their lifestyle in a more bold concept in her upcoming second installment of Lost Boys.

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