#1 Billboard Artist VASSY and “Silver Linings Playbook” Actor DASH MIHOK mentor the kids of the non-profit Playground Of Dreams at their first 2013 Showcase
LOS ANGELES - “Playground of Dreams, where dreams come true.” “The most awesome place ever!” “Life inspiring.” “Absolutely amazing and awesome.” “I like cheeze, I like cheeze, I like cheeze.” If spoken words represent a form of expression, these words spoken by the kids of the non-profit Playground of Dreams (POD) could represent one of two things: They are die hard dairy enthusiasts; or they have just been a part of one of the most significant experiences of their lives. Here at POD, we choose two… and this is what happened.
Over the last month and a half, the “POD Squad” has been working with singer, songwriter and #1 Billboard artist VASSY and actor and Critics Choice Award recipient Dash Mihok on discovering, cultivating, and growing their unique purpose in the world. As a team of leaders, they became committed to each other’s growth and creativity with one common goal in mind: This team had the opportunity to perform Vassy’s hit song “We Are Young” in front of a live audience of adults, up high in the Hollywood hills.
Coming off their trip cutting a version of “We Are Young” at the most famous studio on the planet, Paramount Recording Studio C, the POD team knew they had the experience to make magic. However, this time around they would be performing in front of some of Hollywoods most accomplished leaders: E! News host Catt Sadler; Cougar Town actor Josh Hopkins; Survivor winner and singer Odd Us (Aras Baskauskas); Economic Policy Advisor under President Clinton, John Orszag; Hollywood super agent Michael Greenwald and 3000 Miles to Graceland director Demian Lichtenstein. The crowd was ready, and these powerful kids huddled up…
“We have one opportunity to perform this song the way that we want to live out the rest of our lives,” yelled one of the POD leaders. They put their hands in together…1…2…3…”Cause – We – Are – Young!” They shot out of the hallway onto the stage. Dash lined them up into position as Vassy took the mic. The team stood stoic, equal part excitement, equal part fear. Legendary street ball announcer Delpha Baxtor “DB The Legend” flipped the switch. “Everybody get down like that…Everybody get down like that…” Their fluid bodies moved in unison to the beat: Passionate, Powerful, Free. The audience began moving with the beat, learning the dance moves in real time.
On the second verse the “POD Squad” entered into the audience, grabbing a few people to come on stage. At this moment a weird thing happened. Not only did a “few” people come on stage, the kids inspired more than half of the audience to run up on stage, as if in an instant everybody remembered what it was like to be a child again. All at once a community of dancers emerged-alive! Out of a scene from Woodstock, the festival, 20’s, 30′s, 40’s, 50’s, 60- somethings meshed together with the kids to form one freed-up body of art.
As the music slowed and the newly formed team began to disperse back into their audience-ing spots, one thing was evident: Kids, children, the youths of our world have a power that is unmatched; A power that is inspiring, empowering, and life changing… Marianne Williamson say’s it best, “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
DASH MIHOK is a New York City Born Actor who has been all over the silver screen since he debuted opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “Romeo and Juliet.” He has been in notable films such as “A Thin Red Line
” “The Day After Tomorrow” “I Am Legend” and most recently he has received a Critics Choice Award for is role in “Silver Linings Playbook” opposite Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper. He is currently on the showtime series “Ray Donovan”. Dash is also a hip hop artist that performs songs off his forthcoming album including the single “LOVE.”
“Playground of Dreams supports kids in discovering and achieving their own magnificence, that unique quality that only they have, fostering it, watering it, and watching it sprout!” - Dash Mihok
VASSY is an Greek-Australian born singer/songwriter who’s music can be heard on TV Shows such as Greys Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Human Target; Commercials such as Target, Sketchers, ESPN, Chevrolet and Nike, and the movie “The Cabin in the Woods.” Vassy recently teamed up with Grammy-nominated DJ Dave Audé for her hit release, “We Are Young” which is currently #6 on the Billboard music charts.
“My role is to motivate other young individuals to believe in themselves and to dream and believe!! I tell my kids to go out there and kick some vassy! – VASSY
Thank you to our sponsors: Blue Ice Vodka, Dama Tequila, Graphics Metropolis, Isabella’s Cookies, Dinah Raphaelle Hairstyling and Make-up, Harrison Business Management, Elena Terrones, Chef Richie Million and Magick Lantern Industries. Thank you to our performers: Vassy, Dash Mihok, Aras Baskauskas, Stevie Mack. Thank you to our MC: Delpha Baxter “DB The Legend” and DJ Berrto Munoz. Thank you to all of our volunteers that selflessly made this event possible. Most importantly, thank you to the Playground of Dreams kids, and all kids of the world that move and inspire us to live the life of our dreams.
Brian Larrabee is the co-founder of Playground Of Dreams, A non-profit organization teaming industry leaders with kids to foster their creativity, leadership, and unique purpose in the world.