[Drumming sounds heard, the start of a jazz song. Fast cuts of a mural, a building and a tree, a bike riding. Close-up portrait of Ted, in a warehouse office space. Cut to Ted talking.]
Ted: People often ask me what I do for a living.
[Ted sits in a warmly lit café, working on his computer while drinking coffee.]
And I have no idea how to answer them.
[Ted walks into the David Zwirner gallery. He greets his friend, who is waiting inside the gallery with his iPad. They hug.]
[Ted and his friend, Sur, view the various paintings in the gallery, by Frank Moore. They point at the different artwork.]
All I know is that I’m lucky enough to understand that one of the purposes of being on this planet is to be part of the movement around justice through the lens of HIV/AIDS.
[Ted and Sur review the HIV/AIDS timeline that they have built to support this exhibition.]
[Ted, back in the warehouse office, talking on camera. He wears a grey t-shirt that reads “Still in Edmonton”. His computer and notebook are open on the desk next to him.]
[Ted works on his computer, writing a reaction piece to the Frank Moore exhibit.]
The work I do has been made possible by financial choices I made back when I lived in Edmonton.
[The jazz music stops on a final drumbeat. Ted rides his bike out on the streets in New York City. There is the sound of the bike wheels spinning and the wind.]
In my late twenties, my grandma passed away and she left me some money.
[Cut to Ted working in the warehouse office, writing on his laptop. A soft hip hop lounge song plays in the background.]
And I used that money to buy a condo.
[Three artistic photographs of Ted come up on screen, along with the sound effect of a camera taking pictures. The first photo is of a corner window with light streaming in, the second photo is of Ted with his back to a wall and running his hand over the back of his head while looking down and away, and the third photo is of Ted sitting on his couch eating dinner under a bright lamp.]
[Ted works in the warehouse office. We see a closeup of a tattoo on his left arm that says TEAM. Ted continues typing on his laptop.]
[Ted leaves the warehouse office, closes the glass door, and walks down the hallway with a book under his arm. Then, cut back to Ted talking on camera.]
Having my own home allowed me to lean into the person I never knew I could be, but also allowed me to lean into the person I wanted to become.
[Four of Ted’s HIV/AIDS related artworks come up on camera, each with a clicking sound effect as they appear on screen. Back to Ted sitting in the café, as the camera pans in towards him while he sips his cup of coffee.]
There was this silence that I’d never experienced before.
[Ted works in the warmly lit café, sitting in the booth. The sound of crickets is heard while the music goes quiet.]
The buzz of fear that hovered overhead was gone.
[In the café, Ted types on the computer. The words appear on screen as he types “The role that art can and has played within the history and ongoing epidemic.”]
And all of a sudden, I realized that I was feeling that stability that I had craved for so long.
[Outside of a brick building, with the sign “Pioneer Works”, with the sun shining in the background. The jazz sounds start playing again. Inside, we are in a white walled gallery, with art by LJ Roberts. There are dozens of beautifully stitched portraits of activists and members of the HIV/AIDS community.]
[Ted stands in the middle of the exhibit, talking on camera.]
We are in an exhibition called Carry You With Me by the artist, LJ Roberts, who is also my friend. I’m lucky enough to be one of the subjects.
[Close up of the back of the artwork featuring Ted, and the intricately stitched work. Then Ted turns the piece over and we see the front of the artwork, a stitched portrait of Ted holding a sign at a protest.]
[Montage of more pieces. Two men standing in the street, one with his arm around the other. The next portrait is of a man and woman. The woman is wearing a leopard print coat and sunglasses and is standing next to a tall man carrying a tote bag. There is “typewriter” style writing above them. This is followed by a portrait of a female firefighter in front of a fire truck, and then a pan across multiple portraits in the exhibit.]
[Next scene starts with a guitar strumming. We see a bike lane from the point of view of Ted riding his bike. Then we see Ted, riding his bike through the city.
Being able to rent out my apartment in Edmonton meant that I could work anywhere, and I would always have that passive income.
[Ted works on his computer in the café. Cut to Ted writing in a journal, while sitting at an outdoor table, with brick buildings on either side of him. The Manhattan bridge is in the background. Cut to Ted, in a denim jacket writing on the boardwalk. He looks up and smiles as we see a man walk by, with Little Island in the background. The last clip is of Ted sitting on an outdoor table on a cobblestone street.]
I recharge with simplicity so I can give my energy into complex environments.
[Ted, back in the warehouse office, talking on camera.]
I’m thinking specifically about people who are fighting against income inequality and people who are living their best lives with HIV.
[Ted and his friend sit in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, having a picnic with the city and the bridge behind them. They are talking and eating salad. The two of them wave to a friend, who comes and sits down with them. The three friends talk to each other in an upbeat and jovial way.]
At the end of the day, my grandma gave me a gift, and I think the choices I make ensure that I can contribute to the communities I’m a part of, and in a way that means my grandmother’s gift is still giving.
[The last shot is from the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The sun has set over the city and the clouds in the sky are pink. The carousel is lit up in the distance. As Ted says his last line about his grandmother’s gift that is still giving, the Simplii Financial logo comes up on screen.]