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The Cuttin' Room Floor Featured
on the Outstanding Women Who Help Heal Radio Show
July 13, 2021
New NJ based Web Series challenges the Idiot Box
In Spike Lee's Bamboozled, his protagonist, a producer, often used the idiom "the idiot box," to describe how vapid TV programming transformed people into zombies. We even have a colloquial term for those mesmerized into to a catatonic state by television shows: we call them "couch potatoes." What is it about embodied storytelling that renders us brainwashed? And isn't it about time that we account for the power it has lorded over us all?
Enter, The Cuttin' Room Floor, a new web series launching June 1st, shouting out a loud, "WAKE UP!" like Laurence Fishburne at the end of Spike Lee's School Daze. This series cleverly disguises its agenda with fun and entertaining parodies inspired by characters and plot points they imagine didn't make the final cut of cult classic films, television shows, music albums, plays and books. In so doing, the Cuttin' Room Floor invites us to take another look at our favorites and the influence they've had on our cultural perspectives and expressions over time (the first season presents five episodes about African American 80s and 90s films and music albums!).
While clearly produced by freshman production companies BusinessSHOW and Cabin Kid on a shoestring budget, The Cuttin' Room Floor is a series with a lot of potential. Aside from the clever scenes, it features a component called "After the Cut," where its creators, Aaron Morton and Nikkole Salter, celebrate the original work that inspired it all, and debate its cultural significance. Eventually, they project this format will broaden to include discussions with the original creators, and larger samples of intersectional society.
All in all, The Cuttin' Room Floor (the 'g' ended up on the cutting room floor, they say), breathes new life into these works, provides a nostalgic stroll down memory lane, and gives us all time to reflect on whether or not the tube is turning us all into boobs.
Actor AARON MORTON, on his Jersey Pride
Aaron Morton, 2021
"Being a Jersey native has shaped me as an artist because at a young age I was made aware of its history. Specifically, the history of my hometown, Plainfield, NJ; the home of Milt Campbell, the first black man to win a gold medal in the Decathlon at the Summer Olympics, and many of the original members of the classic funk band Parliament Funkadelic. Growing up proximate to so much hard work, greatness and creativity I believe rubbed off on me and helped shape the man and artist I am today.
I think Jersey is a special place and not just because I was born here or because we are the state with the most diners. Jerseyians have a resilience and a strength that's hard to compare with.
It's important that our web series says "Made in NJ" because it's important for the world to know that art and production isn't exclusive to Georgia, New York and California. Jersey is in the building and we have something to say and contribute to the culture."
NJ artist resident, NIKKOLE SALTER, on becoming a Jersey Girl
Nikkole Salter, 2021
"I came to New Jersey from Brooklyn after grad school. I bought an apartment in Jersey City, my first major purchase. Originally the appeal was the affordability and the proximity to New York City, and I spent the first years basically living in the boroughs, and sleeping in Jersey.
It didn't take long to realize I didn't like residing in a place I knew nothing about. I'm a community person, but I didn't have a community in New Jersey. So, I reached out to artist enclaves - starting at NJPAC in Newark and Luna Stage in West Orange - and they welcomed me with open arms. They introduced me to the wealth of talent and ingenuity residing in the state and I realized how amazing Jersey was - IS - all by itself. I was inspired by people like Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah) and her dedication to bringing work back to her hometown. So, I wrote two plays about NJ - LINES IN THE DUST, a fictional story about Essex county public schools, and INDIAN HEAD about Native American mascots inspired by the generous access provided to me by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation in Bridgeton.
Now Sandy Hook is my summer stomping ground. I ski at Mountain Creek. I teach at Montclair State. I even discovered one of my ancestors lived and died in Teaneck! I may be a California girl at heart, but my life is in New Jersey. It only makes sense that my art be here too. Even if we weren't limited to our homes because of the COVID pandemic, producing The Cuttin' Room Floor in NJ would still have been a no brainer."