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BWW Music Video Review: Hop On Jack Scott's TRAIN RIDE For A Wonderful Trip Of Joy

Newsies alum singer-songwriter Jack Scott scores big with his new music video.

BWW Music Video Review: Hop On Jack Scott's TRAIN RIDE For A Wonderful Trip Of JoyThank goodness for evolution.

One can often hear celebrities talk about the fact that, in their youth, they saw nobody on television who looked like them. When the famous who light the behavioral way for fans admit to the pain of not seeing themselves represented in popular culture, heads nod in agreement everywhere. Everybody looks to media, trying to find themselves, hoping to see themselves, and for a long time, there was nothing.

Nichelle Nichols tells the story of wanting to leave the program Star Trek after the first season because she felt underused as an actress. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., talked her out of it, explaining the importance of having black America see a black woman on television in a position of authority. Ask any person of color what it was like for them, seeing Uhura (and, for that matter, Sulu) on their TV sets when they were young, and they will tell you it was life-changing.

Soon young women of color will have a new role model in the White House, helping to erase the bar of limitations for their lives.

On November 25th, Jack Scott became a leader in inclusivity in show business.

Mr. Scott, an original cast member of the musical NEWSIES (which provides him with a built-in following), is a musical theater actor and nightclub singer who writes songs when not on the stage, and his new single TRAIN RIDE (written with Amanda D'Archangelis) has an accompanying music video that dropped online a few days ago. With Train Ride's release, Mr. Scott has gone from entertainer to barrier breaker. The bouncy and bright tune is certainly enjoyable, completely playlist worthy, and a song that listeners will learn the words to so that they can sing along; but when he teamed up with director Zen Pace to make a three-minute movie about a New York romance set against the backdrop of 1940's Manhattan, Scott made the choice to be authentic to himself, to his fans, and to his art. Jack Scott's cinematic romance in Train Ride is one with a man.

For many (really fortunate) people, there is nothing bold in this choice. Thanks to evolution, the literature of 2020 features gay characters, and not just the literature of the day - gay people can be found in movies and on television, and they aren't degenerates and self-loathing second-string characters hiding in the shadows: these are leading characters with families and respectable roles in society - they are real people. That is because we now live in a time when gay people are world leaders, a time when same-sex couples marry and have children, a world where trans people are embraced and where gender-fluidity is understood ... but not very long ago it was a different story, one that can be seen by examining the literature and cinema of the past decades. This writer is not yet old but is old enough to remember a time when he could not hold his boyfriend's hand in public. There was a time when the public representation of my people was a negative one; had I had the opportunity to turn on the tv or go to the movies and see what I saw in Jack Scott's new music video, my life would have been vastly different.

Train Ride is an MGM musical in three minutes. It is fun, lively, colorful, entertaining, and totally lovable. Speaking purely incidentally: the leads are two men. Where was this when I was a kid?! Damn, son, I mean REALLY. The young people of today won't give it a second thought, but this guy does. When I think of the kids who are fans of Newsies who will see Jack Scott singing and dancing with Justin Prescott, flirting on the subway train, cuddling on the beach, and dancing around the dinner table, it makes my heart grow three sizes today. And it doesn't matter if the young 'uns don't understand the gravity of this change in LGBTQIA+ history (actually, it matters a lot, but that's a different conversation for another day), what matters is that they can turn on their YouTube and see a handsome dude with hot pink hair getting his Fred Astaire on with a hot guy in vintage wear. It's a bloody miracle and no mistake, even if it is a miracle happening quietly in a changing world. The joy of watching Scott and Prescott execute Phil Colgan's choreography is what this guy has dreamed of with each new season of Dancing With The Stars, a dream that has yet to be satisfied, though there are other countries where the show has made the leap to same-sex couples on the dancefloor. Indeed, Train Ride is the musical this show queen has dreamed of all his life. Can you imagine, if at thirteen I could have turned on my TV one Saturday afternoon and seen Gene Kelly and John Payne (my childhood crushes) doing this number, my personal history would have included a lot less alcohol and therapy. Just watching this short film at 56 has washed away years of unhappiness at the lack of positive gay representation in filmmaking.

It isn't just the socio-political statement being made in the music video that makes it important: there is great weight in plain old entertainment value. This is a damn fine short film. With Scott and D'Archangelis' song providing a solid base of support, all of the artists (see their names listed below) participating in the creation of Train Ride are given an opportunity to do a deep dive into their artistic souls, emerging with a work of art that doesn't just have a great (inherent) message, but that leaves one smiling, happy, glad to have taken this three-minute train ride that is the holiday present we all need in 2020.

Ride this train again and again - I've done it eight times already and I'm due for a ninth any minute now.

See the video for Train Ride below these credits

Featuring Jack Scott and Justin Prescott

Song: Jack Scott and Amanda D'Archangelis

Director: Zen Pace

Producer: Linus Ignatius

Director of Photography: Peter Pascucci

Art Director: Mariano Rubin de Celis

Choreographer: Phil Colgan

Associate Choreographer: Andre Malcolm

Edit: Jake Brush

Gaffer: Jose Del C Martinez

1st AC: Thomas Rospabe

Key Grip: Miles Dupree

Camera P.A.: Seth Barkyoumb

Assistant Art: Lia Hawaii



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From This Author Stephen Mosher