Never Can Say Goodbye

The Tribute (

  • The costume consists of the fedora, white glove, loafers, socks, and black pants. I decided to wear a designed t-shirt because I wanted to try and capture some of Michael’s element from the Victory tour. He wore a blue t-shirt under his sequined jacket in that tour, and I thought that looked very cool. My parents bought the jacket, and it’s special because it’s a replica of the jacket he wore during his 30th Anniversary Concerts. Usually he wore the jacket without the stripe, but those September concerts — the concerts that made me a fan — were ones where he wore the arm band. I was most disappointed with the pants. They weren’t short enough and they didn’t have a stripe down the sides.
  • The audio is also borrowed from the 30th Anniversary Concerts. I like his Billie Jean performance from those concerts because they’re full of excitement. Billie Jean at Motown 25 launched Michael into stardom — Billie Jean was iconic, synonymous, with Michael Jackson. Then at the 30th Anniversary Concerts, the audience in Madison Square Garden were lucky to see Michael Jackson — to my knowledge — perform Billie Jean for the first time in years, but the last time in his life. This was Michael’s song. At points you can hear the excitement emanating from his voice. This song made Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, and he was sharing it with the world again.
  • The camera angles were all courtesy of my friends who helped film it: Kyle, Angie, Ana, Zhennan, Isaac, Vince, Caitlin, and Tegan. I have to thank them for helping me film this tribute. It means so much to me, and it wouldn’t have been possible without them. Isaac also provided the lights, microphone, and experience in reserving the stage.
  • The tribute was filmed in Marquette University’s Weasler Auditorium. It is a compilation of 4 run-throughs. This is a testament to Michael’s mastery. In what took him one show, it took me four — and even with four, it’s not up to par — not that I would ever be — with his show.

That’s something I didn’t expect from filming this tribute: Therapy. I wasn’t sad at all. It was like when I watched “This Is It”. When some facet of Michael is on stage, you have to smile. It’s not sad at all. You saw this man doing what he loved to do, what he had been doing since the age of five, what he was proudest and best at. When you see someone in love with something that they truly and genuinely love, you have to smile. It’s compulsory.

Had Michael not passed, I probably would have never filmed this. And that’s exactly my intent: I don’t want to bring adulation on myself because my purpose was to pay final respects to a man and entertainer I’ll always remain fond of. This video is for Michael as an expression of gratitude and love.

Michael Jackson

I’m glad that, for the most part, Michael has been represented in a positive light in the media. His This Is It tour was supposed to be, in a sense, redemptive for him from the public scrutiny. It was supposed to remind us that Michael Jackson wasn’t just the man with the oddities, but that he was a genius with music and an artist with dance. This Is It was supposed to remind the world that Michael Jackson entertained, and he was a master of entertainment.

Yet, in light of all the positivity, I think we must be rash and remember that he died because of unhealthy drug use (in addition to poor care, I’m guessing), and that Michael Jackson was and is not a god. Not everything about him before his passing was perfect, and like any one of us, Michael was fallible. Sometimes I feel like I make him my idol, and that worries me. But it would be foolish to try and reduce my obsession or interest. First, because it would be nearly impossible. Secondly, because in order to reduce something, you have to increase something else. ((In my case, I don’t want Michael Jackson to come before God. Therefore, I increase my focus on God, but can still healthily enjoy Michael.)) In the end, I’m elated that his enduring legacy will be positive. He didn’t get it for most of his life, but he deserved it.

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