Monday, August 22, 2011

Moganko & Josh VS. Emily in "DRUM WARS" & The Story Behind It

Joshland Note: This is a long post with several videos, so find a chunk of time where you can really sit and absorb it. It'll be worth it, I promise!

When I started making these episodes, I wanted to pay tribute as best I could to the essence of "The Muppet Show"by putting my own CF-spin on them. I hoped they would inspire your children to take care of themselves and motivate the general public to research different aspects of cystic fibrosis on their own. This episode does all of those things and I'm so pumped to share it with you. But first, the inspiration and the back story...

Posted below are segments from two of the original "Muppet Show"episodes that gave me the idea for my newest Moganko adventure:

(These are videos from other people's YouTube accounts and are property of Disney/MuppetStudios who now own the creative genius of Jim Henson and his fellow Muppeteers)

Animal VS. Buddy Rich



Animal VS. Harry Belafonte



They speak for themselves, don't they?

W2J's "DRUM WARS"—featuring Emily Schaller from the Rock CF Foundation—highlights one of the original way airway clearance therapies ever used to help people with cystic fibrosis. It's called manual chest physiotherapy, AKA CPT. Without getting too technical, CPT is a form of therapy where a respiratory therapist (RT) or caregiver places a CF patient in several different positions on a large table. From there , the RT/caregiver pounds on different areas of the patient's chest for several minutes at a time to loosen mucus from their lungs so they can cough it out. While I don't use this type as much anymore (which must be disappointing to my wife because I know there are days she'd love to have permission to pound on me...hee hee), I know many people who use manual CPT as a effective form of airway clearance. Here's a link to explain what CPT is in greater detail:

http://www.uwhealth.org/uw-cystic-fibrosis-center/cystic-fibrosis-cf-treatment-manual-chest-physiotherapy/13791

I have lots of childhood memories of both my parents and other loved ones pounding on me while we listened to music to pass the time during treatment. Every so often they'd pound to the beat and do a mini drum solo to make me laugh and enjoy what was otherwise a pain in butt to tolerate as a little kid.

And then the idea popped into my head: What about a drum battle between a drummer and caregiver/happy pounder Moganko using me as his "drum"?!?! But who would be the real drummer? I'm friends with several drummers and even though I know they'd be up for helping me, I wanted someone with a connection to CF that would believe in what I was trying to do. Enter CFer Emily Schaller. When I started reconnecting with the CF Community a few years ago, she was one of the first faces to cross my path. I saw how involved she was in numerous CF awareness projects and fundraising events including playing drums at a CF benefit in her home town of Detroit. We eventually connected through our mutual friend—Rose from the Breathe Song Event—and a distant friendship was born.

When I explained what I wanted to do, Emily was on board without hesitation. She understood the concept and was open to all of my ideas. Most importantly, she wasn't afraid to be silly because she understood what this was all for...YOUR CF CHILDREN and CF Awareness. Like me, Em has an affinity for kids and wants to help them see a bright light in the often dark world of cystic fibrosis. It took almost a years worth of emails, conversations, snail mail and file sharing (oh my god, the file sharing...ugh...Em you are a saint. I'd have quit after a week. :-) to get her part in place, but damn it...we did it! Thank you for believing in me, Emily! I'm grateful for your humility and friendship. Click on this link to learn more about this wonderful woman:

http://www.letsrockcf.org/

But there's even more to this story...

I had to shoot Moganko performing CPT on me for the video, but I had no idea how I was going to do that...until my mother, Christine, and her husband "Big D" volunteered to puppeteer Moganko for this episode. They helped me set up lighting for the green screen, they hid behind the table and moved Moganko's arms...they did everything I asked of them and beyond. Shooting these episodes is NEVER easy, but they never complained. Why? Because they love me and believe in what I'm doing. Mom and "Big D"...I love you both too!

Last, but certainly not least... lots of love goes out to my wife who spent many hours this weekend being my "creative consultant" and putting the finishing touches on this episode. From the creating green screen backgrounds to moments of puppeteering, my wife was simply amazing. She does it because she knows it makes me happy and consequently makes all of you happy too. Carly, you are my sunshine and I love you more every day.

My final thoughts: After six months of being so sick I wasn't able to do any Moganko stuff, "DRUM WARS" was so important for me to finish...especially since we're hot off the heels of the FOX 9 news report last week. I'm proud of the work I did here and I can see things improving with each episode. Is this episode perfect? No. However, where it lacks perfection it exudes passion. I gave it my all. I love what I do and I love your kids...so does every person who has ever helped me shoot an episode of this silly little Youtube show.

So...after damn near a year of work...I proudly present to you..."DRUM WARS"!





Peaceful things and lots of love,

The "DRUM WARS" Crew

1 comment:

  1. Emily, Moganko, Carly, oh, yes, and Josh...

    The drum wars episode is awesome. I know that lots of hours and hard work went into it, and "Big D" and I had a ton of fun helping out. After all, Moganko is my "grand-muppet" and you know how proud Grandma's can be! So delighted to see how you are giving so much of yourself to serve the CF community. both CF children via Moganko and adults who follow your blog.

    Love, Mom xoxox

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