MY JOURNEY AS A BASKETBALL MAN

TIMOTHY HUYNH

 

Who is Rashaun Daniels and what drew you to him?

Rashaun Daniels is a street performer from Troy, NY. Daniels started performing out on the busy streets of Waikiki several years ago.  The film goes into more details about his start as a street performer. 

I was walking along Waikiki just enjoying the night out and along the strip there are numerous of street performers and artists. One that caught my eye in particular was Rashaun; his basketball tricks are amazing but it was his comedy and showmanship that not only kept me there for his entire show but for many others. I was lucky enough to chit chat with Rashaun after his performance and we sort of just instantly hit it off after that.

How did Rashaun become Basketball Man? What lead him to the street performer life?

Rashaun worked his way to becoming Basketball Man. When he first started out he had an entire costume and would have an entire dialogue about Basketball Man as a super hero. However, he’s evolved and adjusted throughout the years, he’s not a character anymore, still Basketball Man, but a real person, no super hero outfit.

He moved from Troy to Honolulu about a year after graduating high school and said he really needed a change. So why not go all the way to Hawaii where you don’t have to worry about weather and you’re surrounded by water. He wasn’t successful at finding any jobs here in Hawaii and was homeless for a while. He’ll tell you to not pity him about the homeless thing because he said being homeless in Hawaii is a lot better than many other places. It was all part of the journey.

What lead him to the street performer life is similar to how I met Rashaun. Rashaun was just cruising down Waikiki one night and saw the silver and gold statue performers that would just stand there for hours and people would pay to see them do a robotic move. He noticed they were making decent money and thought to give it a try. With no job, being homeless, and more than enough basketball skills, he knew he had nothing to lose.

 What challenges did Rashaun overcome to stay true to his desire?

Rashaun was persistent and kept evolving as a performer. He would practice for hours on different tricks, study other street performers and basketball moves, he even knows how to speak Japanese which allows him to communicate to those in Japan which is one of his favorite destinations and to the Japanese tourist here in Hawaii.  I think that’s what separates Rashaun from a lot of other street performers or performers in general, he’s always thinking of something new and always learning new ways to better his craft.

What do you think Rashuan’s journey says about the challenge of staying true to your goals?

I think Rahsaun’s journey says if you stay true to your goals and you keep working hard at it, great things will happen. I mean, Rashaun’s style of performing can connect with anyone around the world whether or not you understand English. His basketball tricks are superb and that is whats so amazing about making this documentary. As an audience we tend to believe that street performers or any artist for a matter of fact are born with the talent and we often don’t get a chance to hear about how they got to the point of success or we don’t hear their struggles and the sacrifices they’ve made. With this film everything is in retrospect and anyone who has a goal in life, will be able to connect with Rashaun.

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SCREENING:

FRIDAY AUGUST 9TH AT 4PM

SUNDAY AUGUST 11TH AT 11AM

 

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