Watch the video exclusively at Local Spins – the latest from Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, and learn more about Droppers’ new role as director of Calvin University’s Student Activities Office.
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It’s apropos that Jack Droppers – frontman for Grand Rapids roots rock band Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions – would release a thought-provoking, inventive video for the song, “Found My Way,” the latest single from the band’s new album.
“We are beginning to begin,” he sings at the end of the track, which tackles the “comparative culture” that often colors modern life and creates insecurities. “We are beginners once again.”
Droppers himself is “beginning again” and has found his way to a much-buzzed-about new job: He’ll take over as director of Calvin College’s Student Activities Office in January, succeeding the much-admired Ken Heffner, who’s retiring.
He called it a “strangely wonderful” fit for someone who revels in conversations about the arts, music and faith – something that’s long been the focus of SAO, its annual concert series and other events.
“I desire to remain faithful to the good work that Ken and his teams have done. Any innovation that I may suggest is rooted in the faithful work of the SAO in the past 27 years,” said Droppers, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College and a masters of divinity from Western Theological Seminary.
“The music scene in Grand Rapids has both grown and changed in really exciting ways in the last decade. With a multitude of new venues, a community that engages in music more deeply, and even with our own growing local music scene, we have become less of an out-of-the-way town for touring artists and more of a necessary tour stop. Adaptation and innovation will be necessities for a thriving SAO office in the future.”
As for his band’s new video – premiering exclusively today at Local Spins – Droppers said he wanted to portray the tension that builds these days as individuals face the “chaos of comparison” to those viewed as more successful or popular.
“ ‘Found my Way’ is a song that investigates the ways in which comparative culture shape our visions of the ‘good life,’ ” he said. “In an era where we have access to the curated, rose-filtered stories of our peers’ lives, shame points us to their stories saying, ‘If only you were more like them.’
VIDEO: Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, “Found My Way”
“As someone who is on both the receiving end and the giving end of these irresponsible comparisons, I know those thoughts of insecurity that pop up when so-and-so gets signed to a big label, or what’s-her-face gets that job I really wanted, or when that person I love chooses to love another, predictably cooler, person. Those feelings not only make us feel like dirt, but they elevate that other person to some sort of enlightened or actualized state.”
The video – filmed and directed by James Kessell of Voyage Pictures (and the keyboard player for The Best Intentions) – features multiple versions of Droppers interacting with himself. It was filmed at Droppers’ home, Eastern Kille Distillery and the men’s restroom at Voyage Pictures.
“I’m no longer the 22-year-old who drinks beer with his cereal dinner and wonders if his life is going down the tubes,” he noted, “but even as I put out new music, get a new job, or show up to love my wife, I feel the need to be reminded of my status as a beginner in this journey.”
For Droppers, the journey to the new Calvin post comes after a year in which Calvin University first announced a budget-driven phaseout of the SAO program and its longtime director, Heffner. The university later restored it after passionate protests by students and alumni, along with a campaign that raised funds to extend the position of director, who has overseen the annual concert series.
Read more in this Local Spins story.
Droppers, currently director of spiritual formation at Grand Rapids’ Compass College, said the recent #SaveSAO campaign proves “one of the best leadership traits Ken (Heffner) embodies – that the SAO was always about the movement and not about one person.”
And while there’s some anxiety about “inheriting Ken’s legacy” come January, Droppers said SAO is really about the Calvin community as a whole and partnering with others to continue its mission.
“When the SAO goes forward, we will go forward together,” he said.
Copyright 2019, Spins on Music LLC