“I’m not talented. Not in the way that really matters.”
As he says this, Danny Mulae accomplishes several yo-yo tricks that allow the toy to spin constantly without touching it. We can hear the soft metallic ring of the yo-yo, proving his success. After letting the yo-yo spin for a few quiet seconds, he winds it back up again. We are all too aware that Danny has talent with a yo-yo.
Trip Aces Media’s Talent Discusses Fame
Talent, a five-minute short film written by Chicago playwright and actor Jon Steinhagen, considers what it truly means to have talent. Opening with a brief story about eating thirty mini quiches in one sitting, Danny reveals his talent to “pack it away.” But to the rest of the world, that’s not a true talent. With reflections about Kurt Cobain’s fame and Danny’s attempt to play the cello, we get insight into who, if anyone, decides what constitutes a talent and if our talents really are just that—talent.
Danny takes on a conversational and humorous tone, engaging us in his reflections. Kurt Cobain was a left-handed guitarist, but he didn’t want the fame. Danny loves the sound of a cello, but he can’t play it well enough. His reflections lead us to think that talent might be an ambiguous term and only counts if it’s used for something meaningful. All the while, we are left dumbstruck at Danny’s exhibition of his yo-yo skills. As he speaks, the yo-yo bounces off its string, performs loops and spins, and rolls back up again. We watch him and find ourselves charmed and thinking, “Can’t yo-yoing count as a talent?”
Talent is suitable for those interested in a short film that combines humor and undeniable yo-yoing talent. Those looking for a full-length performance should look elsewhere.
Produced by: Danny Mulae
Directed by: Matt Canon
Written by: Jon Steinhagen
About the Author: Annabelle Harsch
Annabelle has perpetual graphite smears on her hands from stories she wrote. She’s written about secrets and regret, but her favorite things to write about are love and dragons, good or bad. When Annabelle isn’t reading and writing, she’s usually hiking or buying plants and books.