frankly, mr. franklin…

it’s such an honor and a blessing to have someone as spellbindingly talented as colman domingo bringing our character mr. franklin to life. and to those of you who have sent emails asking: mr. franklin is not based on one person. yes, i’ve known more than a few gay choir directors who were openly closeted and had interests beyond the hood. But franklin is really a composite of all those people who ever used the power of language to describe worlds beyond…the people who essentially sang private arias to you about the beauty and mystery of life…travel guides for your soul…being with these people was like sitting next to a movie trailer for your future… if only you could muster the courage to buy the ticket … and he’s also a composite of all the people who handed you things that changed your life…books, records…the people who handed you things that were gonna blow your mind…and the people who stuck around to help you pick up the pieces…the people who, after you got back to their place after the club and all the noise, would sit you down at 2:30am and play you david ackles for the first time…i’m talking about those 2am kinda people…(holler if you hear me…but not too loud, you might wake somebody up)…those quiet moments of sharing and discovery…records just SOUND different in the wee small hours…like notes being passed…anyway, franklin is the cat who took you to your first french movie…and he is the withdrawn girl who sat in the back of the class who you had a crush on who told you that nine stories was just as important as catcher in the rye and then never talked to you again…franklin is the first one you could tell out loud all the jokes you’d been laughing at all by yourself for your entire life…

i once had a hippy teacher in 9th grade who was supposed to teach us Geography but at the end of the first week he asked the class “How many people would like to learn about the geography of the mind?” The following Monday 25 inner city kids were sitting in the dark looking at a slide show of drawings made by schizophrenics while listening to Pink Floyd’s Meddle. We were SO into it and we’d never been that energized by a teacher before. He taught us about Freud and after a few weeks we were all able to deconstruct advertisements and make jokes about the real meaning of kicking a football through the goal post…he put the bad kid in the middle of the circle and made him fall..it sounds like hippy shit but until you’ve seen a kid who wouldn’t think twice about stabbing someone suddenly crying in front of a whole classroom after he finally mustered up the courage to fall you haven’t really lived…and then the school authorities found out and told Mr. Franklin he had to teach the boring kind of geography.

I still don’t know where Ohio really is.
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Comments (1) to “frankly, mr. franklin…”

  1. However he came to be, he’s such a full character, came across like a whole person. with regrets and hopes. think he was my favorite in the show.

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