Sunday, June 20, 2010

CAN I BE 'FriendsWithYou'? An interview with Sam Borkson

I was joking with some work colleagues the other day, telling them about when I was young and had two different characters I liked to transform into. For my Australian readers, one of them was Louis the Fly. Louis was the mascot for a particular brand of bug spray, and I would race around the house singing his song with scarves as wings attached to my arms, and goggles as my fly eyes.
You could say that Louis was an odd choice, considering his theme song was:
 ‘I’m Louis the fly, I’m Louis the fly, straight from rubbish tip to you, spreading disease with the greatest of ease, straight from rubbish tip to you! I’m bad and mean, and mighty unclean. Afraid of no-one, ‘cept the man with the can of Mortein!’
 When I felt like ruling the world, I was Skeletor from the He-Man series. If you can imagine a 6-year-old girl slinking around the house in a purple cape, with a sword and skeleton mask, that was me. Evil characters were how I rolled.
What I can’t remember is when I stopped doing those crazy things. I mean, I do crazy things now, like signing off my work emails as ‘Skeletor’. But when did I cut off that super powerful part of my imagination that allowed me to be whoever I wanted?

Do you remember when that happened to you?

In my adult life, every now and again I find someone, or something that allows me to connect with ‘little me’, little Skeletor. Late last year, it was an absolute privilege to discover a company based in Miami, called ‘FriendsWithYou’. With the goal of spreading Magic, Luck and Friendship around the world, ‘FriendsWithYou’ is a group of people that work to plant a seed within all of us, that rather than growing up, we can grow back into who we were as kids.

I was given the opportunity to pick the brain of ‘FriendsWithYou’ co-founder, Sam Borkson.    

CAN I BE 'FriendsWithYou'? My interview with Sam Borkson. 

SAM AND TURY: Founders of "FriendsWithYou"                                                             
BW: Sam, when you wake up in the morning, what do you think about?
SB: Usually about the dream I just had. Sometimes I feel like I went through something pretty serious and other times it's beautiful and magical.

BW: When you go to sleep at night, what do you dream about?
SB: Wow it's so random. I used to have such insane battles every night where I know I would be tired again even after sleeping because of the energy drain from the dream. Some of those still happen but I also dream of complex ideas like weird situations my head is trying to figure out inside the grander illusion. Sometimes it's a beautiful construction that I made with Tury or it's just too weird to talk about.


BW: What is your advice to those that have a unique and 'way out' idea that they want to bring to the world?
SB: Keep working hard and never let anything stop you. Even if you fail every single time you will gain strength and knowledge from that.

BW: As kids we have no limits, and everything is possible. As we get older, our dreams seem to get further away, and harder to reach. I think the saddest part about this is our childhood dreams are the purest, most magical parts of us. How can we, as adults, get those dreams back?
SB: It's essential. You need to retain that magic, if you lose it you're already dead. This is a huge part of our mission as artists to provide this on a platter for people, but we would love to see people spreading this on their own. We are spiritual beings and need to connect and dream, it's so important.


BW: FriendsWithYou has a strong culture of Magic, Luck and Friendship. When a new person joins your team at FWY, what do you do to unleash their creativity?
SB: Dance with them!

BW: At what point do you believe that you captured the minds and hearts of commercial America? You have worked with the likes of Coca Cola, MTV, Red Bull and Nike. What do you think they saw in you, or that they found in you, that they couldn't find anywhere else?
SB: We help connect with people, and it's something many corporations have forgotten how to do. We love working with brands and corporations because they are like the kings of old helping us march forward on our mission.

BW: Sam, in your eyes, what are the most important characteristics a leader should have?
SB: I think a leader needs to inspire, be an example, act kindly and with passion.

BW: On Twitter, you tweet about amazing ideas like 'Riding the rainbow' and 'Sparkle power!'. How has FriendsWithYou impacted on how you live your life?
SB: It's kind of like a mantra I'm always telling myself. The quotes I post are things that help me and since everyone is more similar than one would think they may help others as well.

BW: What ideologies have been critical to your own success?
SB: Maybe a bit of all of them or at least the good bits. The simple truths of life and how to live happily and be supportive and loving of the people around you.

BW: You say your main goal is to culturally engineer and spread simple spirituality. How can the rest of us practice and spread this spirituality on a daily basis?
SB: Just do it. I think you are doing it right now with this interview and helping us spread our ideas. We are doing it by free forming our creative into a myriad of outlets from fine art, experiential performance installation, to entertainment, products and more. We don’t hold back anything. We love being unrelenting!

FriendsWithYou is currently creating magic across Toronto with their "Wish Come True" Festival!

You can visit the world of 'FriendsWithYou' by visiting
Twitter: @friendswithyou