“No! Not the basketball thing again!” groaned my son, a newly minted Indiana University graduate with a degree in Media Production.
“But he owns the Dallas Mavericks!” I protested.
We were discussing how to approach an upcoming video project. As you may have guessed, it involved Mark Cuban, tech billionaire, star of Shark Tank and yes, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team.
Our task came in the form of a challenge posted on Instagram that I just happened to notice by Vishen Lakhiani, the brilliant founder and CEO of a company called Mindvalley. They specialize in education and personal growth. Their big yearly event, The Mindvally Summit, was launching online with Mark Cuban as the keynote speaker. The assignment – write a poem Vishen could use to introduce Mr. Cuban, one that would, to quote Mr. Lakhiani, “put a smile on Mark’s face.” Top prize? A new iPad! Dozens of people posted a poem in the comment area, but Vishen also suggested submitting a video.
A poem? Check! (I’m actually known as the family poet for the many times I have written them for significant birthdays and anniversaries.)
A video? Check! (Did I mention my son had a degree in media production?)
Make him smile? Check! (I don’t personally know Mr. Cuban, but I knew a few topics that might do just that.)
While Anthony agreed we should absolutely send a video, we were in total disagreement as to how to shoot it, and we had less than two days to make it happen. I wanted to do something “cool” on a basketball court with me taking the winning shot as I finished my rhyming masterpiece. But several years prior, Anthony helped me create another video called “A Day in the Life of The ChopSaver Guy,” a video so dreadful it seems to have scarred my son for life. And yes, it included a scene of me playing basketball. Don’t try to search for it as it never got out of my hard drive, thank God! But clearly the memory of it lives on in my son’s nightmare reel of “embarrassing stuff my Dad did.”
So, I dropped the basketball schtick and I made room in my head for something better to emerge. A few hours later, an idea struck me. I pitched it to both my son and my nephew Lexi, who had helped on previous videos, projects that were far more successful than “A Day in the Life.” When a 59-year-old dude can get two 20-somethings to chuckle, you know you’ve hit the comedy lottery. The video below is the finished product. The other video is me watching the presentation unfold in real time with Mr. Cuban’s reaction. As you can see, the shot we took was “nothing but net” and we won the contest!
This story had a few other twists and turns, but I’ll save those for another time. But the big lesson for me was trust, patience, and listen to your son!
A Limerick for Mark Cuban