—One common theme for the many artists I have talked with on behalf of the Clarion Content is…
If you do what you are passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work.
As I heard Matthew Coppedge say almost those very words and Tracey Coppedge echo them, I thought, these two have been doing that their whole working lives.
Matthew Coppedge is one of those people who you recognize or at least think looks familiar if you have been in Durham any significant amount of time.
He has spent ten years at and is now Chief Operating Officer of Downtown Durham Inc. better known as DDI. His wife, Tracey Coppedge, is a professional actress who has appeared in the award winning films, “Foodie” and “Disengaged” as well as the upcoming feature film, “Dark Awakening” and the animated series, “Battlefield Friends, along with numerous commercials. The glamorous married couple recently leaped into a passion project called “The Lowdown Show.” It is web based video variety show. Matthew classified it as somewhere between Jimmy Kimmel and Charlie Rose. It has the highbrow arc featuring Durham bon vivants, maven, artists, and citizens of renown along with campy lowbrow content offering product reviews in the vein of Saturday Night Live commercials, challenges and dares the realm of Reality TV, faux interviews, and the promise of even more mayhem to come.
Matthew and Tracey both emphasize that at the core of this project is the desire to have fun and entertain. Matthew said he gets bored easily and has to continually seek new challenges and horizons. They are well positioned to be in the know on Durham’s cultural scene. They are light-hearted enough not to take it too seriously. They are excited to have the opportunity to ask people the questions they want to know the answers to… it is a feeling we know well at the Clarion Content. Asking we want to know often leads down the path to the creator’s most central vision. Insight and desire travel together.*
Coppedge and Coppedge are both hands-on types. They have a passion to create and produce. They don’t shy away. In graduate school, Matthew’s go-getter desire and urge to always be in the game saw him found an E-Bay business. Now levels removed, the couple use their collective passion to dig into stories.
And while they have showcased fun and games, interviewing a stone faced Major the Bull in CCB Plaza and product testing a ladies urination device called the She-Wee, they have also talked to such Durham luminaries as Grammy nominated singer, Nneena Freelon, and Fullsteam Brewery founder, Sean Lilly Wilson.
Matthew and Tracey have been quietly working on the project since February. Five episodes are already live on the “Lowdown Show” website. They have been learning on the fly. As such, while they have been in development, working as much as sixteen hours in a weekend and four to five hours at night after their regular gigs, they have yet to engage in much in the way of promotion. In fact, the interview they granted to the Clarion Content was one of the first they have done. Given their high-profile position in the community, once the word gets out, it is likely they and the show will be quite the sensation. The sort of news that makes the covers of gritty street-sheet weeklies and glossy magazines that froth about our fashionable town.
Check out an episode below…
The series is being filmed by Velásquez Digital Media Communications, Monique Valasquez and Piper Kessler, along with an awesome creative team with locals Eryk Pruitt, Lana Pierce, Meredith Sause and with Coppedge’s brother, Christopher, handling the street shots and more candid footage. Given: a city that loved itself so much it married itself, a culture that lives to imbibe via video, two daring creative leaders, and a Rolodex that is a Who’s Who of Made Durham, the “Lowdown Show” figures to be a must see TV, errrrr, YouTube.
Matthew and Tracey Coppedge are continuing to build their production team and distribution channels as they hone the product. Stay tuned, Durham.
Upcoming interviews include, NCCU Head Basketball Coach, Levelle Moton, Mayor Bill Bell, American Dance Festival Director Jodee Nimerichter, Rob Cotter of Organic Transit, Missy Cummings of Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University.
Links to see more and follow the project:
*While I talk to terrific and talented artists on behalf of the Clarion Content there is a strong flavor of personal edification embedded in the process and the desire.