How a Black Keys Video Can Bring You Enlightenment

Posted on July 12, 2013


(photo: me dancing on the beach to no music whatsoever)

The Black Keys “Lonely Boy” is one of my favorite music videos ever. Not that the list is long, mind you, since seeing an actual music video for a song these days is damn near impossible. Regardless, I *adore* the “Lonely Boy” video for reasons beyond the fact that the song has a sweet beat & a true rock ‘n roll vibe. The man featured in the video is actor/musician/part time security guard (as listed in Wikipedia), Derrick T. Tuggle and he is dancing his heart out. I mean how do you NOT smile watching him get his groove on?…and the pose he strikes at the very end??…legit. The entire video you see below was done in one take. No cuts, no edits, no re-do’s. And totally NOT the original plan for that song’s video.


Originally, Derrick was 1 of many extras who were going to go to a motel in the original video for the song, and as the edits came back, the band hated everything they saw…except for Derrick. During the breaks between filming of the original video, Derrick had been on set dancing along to the song as it played over and over again. The director saw him dancing and asked “can you perform?”, to which Derrick replied, “I can dance, anybody can dance.” <–bigger pearl of wisdom than he likely realized.

And just like that, the video was re-shot, in one take, featuring Derrick, just doing his thing. For what its worth, the video ended up being nominated for a Video Music Award, so clearly it resonated with others too.

Do you hate dancing? It doesn’t have to be dancing that you apply this to. Just saying “i can ____, anybody can ____” {fill in the blank with your ‘thing’} is all that’s needed to do what Derrick did, that is, tap into your true nature & ability. And that is one major reason I love this video so much. What Derrick displays in the video is an element of believing you can do something, and then doing your best version of it, (which he does so well) that makes it awesome and energizing to watch. Yes, watching professionals do amazing things is cool to watch, but so is watching a non-pro do something, and putting themselves fully & authentically into it.

Opportunities will present themselves. It’s not enough to be ready for them, as Derrick was. (he says that part of his acting classes is to do a song & dance as part of the class warm-up.) You’ve also got to be open and available for the opportunities-I guess you could say ‘looking’ for them-but the farther I get in my self-evolvement, the more I think you don’t need to go looking for anything. I think, though I’m not sure yet, the right stuff will show up exactly when it is supposed to; and all you need to do is become yourself what you would like to find in this world. But you still need to be open and ready for the opportunities when they show up.

Derrick wasn’t dancing on set in the hopes of being noticed or selected for a bigger part in the video. Put into ‘life’ context…he wasn’t the guy trying really hard to get the attention of some girl in the bar…he was doing his authentic Self and THAT attracted the attention of the director. You’d think that doing the authentic YOU, the one that does kind of embarrassing or not-like-everyone-else things, would take you further away from getting what you want – because being authentically you means being different from everybody else – but the reality is, it doesn’t. It takes you closer to what you are meant to be connected to, the people, things, and situations that were meant for you.

Think about it…if you have to cover up bits of yourself in order to fit the thing that you think you want, do you really want that thing? Sometimes that’s hard to see when you’re in the throes of ‘want.’ But if you can step out of it for a second, you could look at what you want from a few more angles and might get a better grasp on how what you thought you wanted, might not actually be what your authentic-Self wants. Or maybe it is and you’re on the right track! Who knows?! You won’t, until you get some perspective. So, decide what you want, then step back and think about it for a bit. Then decide what actions you want to take from there. And know that you might need to let go of what you ‘want’ in order to get something better.

And one last thing…you get one shot, no do-overs, no 2nd-takes, no nothing other than this moment right now. So may as well do whatever your authentic Self feels is right and move forward from there. If it ends up not working out the way you thought it would, then it just means there is something to learn from that moment, and that there is something else out there for you. I’ve found myself doing this more and more and while it feels uncomfortable in the moment (only because I’m not used to being quite this authentically ME yet), it’s what the authentic-Me really feels like is the right thing to do, so I do it. And oddly enough, it becomes really easy to let go of the outcome when you know that you’ve done exactly what was true to your authentic-Self.

Well, that took a slight left turn away from the Black Keys video, but well, there you go. Another chapter in my self-evolvement that hopefully you can take something from and use in your own life and evolvement.

Posted in: Evolve Thyself