Have you ever seen that video of the baby chicks being ushered along a conveyer belt, completely unaware that the moment of judgment waits just around the bend? Wrong place, wrong time, baby chicks—for you are in the world of the humans now. We are hungry, and your cute fluffy outside is but a yellow wrapper concealing the forbidden fruit within.

But let us pinch that appetite for a beat. Let us reach toward that big red lever and halt this judgment wheel for just a moment. For today we celebrate rebellion. Today is your day, chickens!

And yet, where do we go from here?

We begin with an offering, a new lens of sorts. A tidbit to validate every imperfect act you have or shall commit from here to your inevitable judgment day.

We are talking about the word amateur: a fancy word borrowed from the French (like most fancy words). We’ve come to use this word to imply that someone is perhaps less than polished, lacking a serious and comprehensive understanding of their craft; a beginner, a dabbler, a hobbyist of sorts. But could it be something more? At its root, the word means “lover”. Let that soak in for a moment. We’re aiming for some higher-level reprogramming here: the white-knuckled, skull-pounding kind. Some of you may need to pound (and peck) a little harder; some eggshells are thicker than others. Amateur is a good thing. Amateur is a good thing. This is your mantra, Chico. Speak it, feel it, conjure that inner Parisian and let your soothing feelgood fly. You will be soaking in this word like sunshine in the days to come.

And this is our lens through which we gaze the creations of Fresh Ink: four seasoned teams are given a limited amount of time and resources to bring a one-act play to life. This is difficult enough on its own, but in the vein of healthy competition the stakes are raised, as each play must also include certain criteria meant to challenge and inspire the genius of the amateur to emerge. Each team takes the task to their core to develop and graciously expose their pearls in rawest form. We should all know by now that pearls don’t always emerge from the oyster’s clutches polished and ready for market.

Fresh Ink is a celebration, an experiment, an experience. For you naive baby chicks who still believe in the goodness of humankind, in the mystery of life, in a world of love that’s free of judgment, then a fountain of genuine, unpolished creative expression awaits you. These amateurs are the real deal—lovers against all odds.

As we fire up the pistons and send our doomed baby chicks on their merry way, we are reminded of the image of the ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, implying some eternal cycle between good and evil. Or is it the disconnect between body and soul? The self-destructive blindness of gluttony? Anyway, we’re fairly certain it’s not meant as a good thing. But we propose something new—less of an eating and more of a sucking gesture. And that thing ain’t no tail.



  1. Matt Olson says:

    Who wrote this? I really enjoyed reading this.