:in the fields

Watch my friend Oscar Collazos and I take the series undercover for the first time in the tobacco fields of North Carolina
 

part 1:

part 2:

In 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 141 children who were working on tobacco farms in the United States. The children ranged between the ages of 7 and 17, and were a small sampling of child agriculture workers in the U.S., which is estimated in the hundreds of thousands. The report that Human Rights Watch released the next year was based on these interviews, and it also included extensive research detailing the illnesses, injuries, and injustices that these children faced. It was well covered by the press, and had large tobacco companies scrambling to reassure the public that they were going to do everything they could to protect children on American farms. Well, that was back in 2014, and I thought it was time for a progress report, so I called up my friend Oscar Collazos, a Colombian-born stand-up comedian here in New York, hired him to be my translator, and we headed down south to try to take Where I Don’t Belong undercover for the first time. Watch the full episode to see how our adventure turned out! 

Resources:

This article by Gabriel Thompson appeared in The Nation in 2013, and subsequently inspired this episode. Please check it out, it's an amazing read. 

You can find out more about my intrepid Co-Producer Oscar Collazos by visiting his website at www.oscarcollazos.com

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee is still working hard to unionize farmworkers. Click here to learn how you can help.

The National Labor Relations Board is where to go if you have questions the Labor Relations Act. Extra credit if you call your congressmen and women to let them know that expanding the Labor Relations Act is important to you as a voter!

Learn more about the hazards of Green Tobacco Sickness by visiting OSHA's website.  

This article by Amanda Holpuch for The Guardian and this piece by the Editorial Board of the New York Times provide more information and insight on child labor in tobacco in the United States.

Check out The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information about the H2A Visa Program.  

Here's where I found my USDA pricing data for tobacco and sweet potatoes. 

Click here to learn more about the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program.

Click here to view the report released by Reynolds American that says that all of their growers and farmers are at almost 100% compliance with GAP guidelines in 2015. 

Music: 

I was lucky enough to find some AMAZING music by up and coming artists for this video. Check out all of them at the links below! 

“I am running with temporary success from a monstrous vacuum in  pursuit” by Chris Zabriskie

“The Roads that Burned Our Boots” by Jahzzar

“Back to the Woods” by Jason Shaw

“Plantation” by Jason Shaw

“Blazing Day” by MC Cullah

:back again

Season 2 is on the way! I've been filming and editing since last summer, getting ready to bring you more exciting adventures. Stay tuned to see me smoke marijuana for the first time, try my hand at ice carving, and go undercover in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. Check back soon-- It's going to be a wild ride!

:In a Cage

Episode 3 is the story of Ariel Sepulveda, an up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighter in New York City. Watch him get ready for his first professional title fight, and watch me try to keep up with him during one of his 7 hour workouts. The journey ends with the title fight in Atlantic City's Ring of Combat, where you'll get a cage-side seat to the most important fight of Ariel's life and its unforgettable conclusion. 


Most of the amazing music in this episode was found on the Free Music Archive at www.FreeMusicArchive.org. Below are the individual artists' websites--please go download their music because they are all awesome! 

Broke For Free: www.brokeforfree.com

Chris Zabriske: www.chriszabriskie.com

Dexter Britain: http://dexterbritain.co.uk/

Diablo Swing Orchestra: http://www.diabloswing.com/

 

Stills

:In a Motorcycle Club

The Empire City Motorcycle Club has been around for 50 years, and this is the very first documentary that's ever been made about them. The ECMC has never opened its doors to a journalist or documentarian before, and the exclusive footage obtained for this episode is the first to be taken of the club. Meet the extraordinary men that make up this historic LGBT group, and watch me take my very first motorcycle ride--all the way to Jersey!  


 The amazing music that I was lucky enough to find for the soundtrack was composed by the artists listed below. I found them all on the Free Music Archive at www.FreeMusicArchive.org, so you can go there and search their names to find their music, or you can visit their individual websites. They are all seriously talented, so please check them all out and download all of their stuff! 

Waylon Thornton: http://waylonthornton.tumblr.com

Halloween: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Halloween/

  Monk Turner: http://monkturner.bandcamp.com/

Kevin MacLeod: http://incompetech.com/  

Fhernando:  http://fhernando.com/


POST PRODUCTION NOTES: 

Gary has become a Pledge, which means he's on track to become a full member by January. The club has also acquired another new pledge named Darryl. Both Darryl and Gary have to prove their dedication to the club over the next 3 months by answering to their Pledge Master. The Pledge Master is appointed by the President whenever there are new Pledges, and this year, Chaz has appointed Evil Ed to usher the new Pledges into the club. 

The ECMC asked me to mention that the Road Captain is also responsible for checking each member's license, registration, insurance annually to ensure that all members are abiding by the law.  

: In the Dish Pit

This is a documentary about a dishwasher. Not a machine, a person who works as a dishwasher in a restaurant in New York City. He is actually the inspiration for this whole series. 

I'm not sure exactly when I realized that I sort of casually assumed that all dishwashers must be unhappy, but as soon as it hit me, I thought it was crazy that I had worked in the hospitality industry for so long without ever really examining that clearly oversimplified view. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how pervasive that idea was. I recalled conversations with friends wherein things like "Man, it was the worst week ever. But I could be washing dishes or something, so I guess it could be worse," were said. I also recalled being threatened with "a life of washing dishes" by people who wanted me to do well in school, as if it were a terrible consequence. So what does "a life of washing dishes" really look like? Angel Cruz will tell you all about it, because he's living that life, and (spoiler alert!) it turns out he's pretty darn happy about it. 

**The awesome soundtrack was composed by the incomparable Monk Turner. The song is entitled "Kind Katie," from his album "Instrumental Friends," and you can find more of his music at: http://monkturner.bandcamp.com/

I also was going to use music by the two artists listed below. I ended up simplifying my soundtrack down to one composer, but I think they are both awesome and wanted to credit them anyway for inspiring me. Go check them out! 

Jason Shaw: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw/

Gilicuddy: http://gillicuddy.bandcamp.com/ 

Thanks to Matthew Callahan for being the most awesome husband ever and without whom this project would never have gotten off the ground.