On May 20th, we hosted an extra-special Saturday workshop here at Next Up with the marvelous Marcus Bandy, former professional skateboarder, teacher, photographer, and creator/editor of Wheelbase Magazine, a skateboarding-themed publication based out of Long Beach, California.
The theme of our guest’s presentation was based on the art of storytelling. Stories, Marcus explained, exist all around us and take many forms – world history, family life, journalism, movies, books – all of these have influence on our everyday lives. Marcus gave our kids some valuable advice: we each have the power to direct our own personal story to lead successful lives, a concept that Next Up cares very much about imparting upon our participants.
Marcus began the workshop by showing examples of historical skate magazines (including one old Thrasher with the first-ever Anaheim cover shot), illustrating the differences between content and quality, then and now. The group had some fun, dynamic conversations about skateboarding. Marcus encouraged the kids to value the importance of treating the sport “as a creative pursuit rather than to win or make money,” because, after all, it is “about personal expression…and creating things off the cuff.” Our guest speaker, who spent some of his own childhood here in Anaheim, opened up to our youth about his rough, sometimes violent childhood and how he succeeded in avoiding a life of drugs and poverty by harnessing the power of skateboarding.
The second half of the afternoon involved photography, a relevant part of skateboarding journalism and a major medium in storytelling. Marcus, who takes many of the photos in Wheelbase Magazine, touched on concepts like composition, lighting, timing, and quality of subject. The kids got to apply their newfound knowledge at the skate park, pairing up to shoot both action shots and portraits.
The final activity of the day rounded out the journalism theme: Interviews! Students discussed the process behind writing articles that tell strong stories with a beginning, middle, and end. They spent some time interviewing each other and Vina, our founder, with the story of Next Up Foundation in mind. Marcus surprised our students with some exciting news: all of the content collected throughout the day was put together in a feature spread about Next Up in the Wheelbase publication. We couldn’t be more stoked about the project!
Thank you, Marcus. It was a pleasure hanging with you, and we hope you come back soon!