JB WHIRTLEY, 25, Filmmaker

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Your nickname My collaborators call me “Kubrick” because I film so many takes. But trust me, I’m no Kubrick. Friends call me “Bearded Devil.” Not sure why—you’ll have to ask them. The only nickname that I think is accurate comes from my Mother who (to this day) still calls me “Buck,” stemming from a childhood obsession over this cartoon series back in the 90s called Bucky O’Hare. I prefer JB. Would you rather be an inventor or a leader? I consider myself both. To be a writer you are inventing a fictitious world. And like God, (or whoever you believe leads your world), to be a director you have to lead everyone in the right direction in this environment that was invented or else there would be chaos.  Biggest a-ha moment?  When I realized that the magic of movies is not what you see but what you don’t. When did you feel helpless?  Pretty much every day of my life. Has Sarasota failed millennials? It’s not that Sarasota has failed Millennials, it’s the naive state of mind Millennials have towards Sarasota. In regards to the art community, a lot of kids come here because it is a beacon for creativity and like-minded people. That is unequivocal. But the problem with my generation and the onslaught of kids coming here on the quest to be that very pretentious word “artist” is that they seem to think that somehow, magically, they will become an “artist.” My heart goes out to . . .  St. Jude Children’s Hospital  In Sarasota-Bradenton, wedo too much pomp and flattery and too little of realizing the harsh truth of the industry.  What's next? To whom it may concern, I just completed filming on a civil war era, gothic, horror, thriller short film that stars Marshall Teague from the cult classic Road House and a young talented newcomer, Tom Donahue. It tells the story of a mortally wounded confederate general who refuses his downfall while being carried through a no-man's-land by a misguided devotee. It was ambitious as hell, but I had a very talented group of local crew helping it get realized! It was fun! So I’m just finishing editing on that and planning to film two more short films this year whilst developing two feature films and a TV series. I’m a happy boy. 



ERIK ARROYO, 28, CAMPAIGN OPERATIVE; Business Lawyer, Band, Gates, and Dramis Attorneys

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Your nickname  Jack Brill (Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota) likes to call me “the Bulldozer” because of my gentle and subtle approach. Chad Gates likes to call me “Tugboat” because of this one confidential client interaction that he’ll never let me live down.  Your brand “Either work hard or you might as well quit.” –MC Hammer Would you rather be an inventor or a leader? A leader, since leaders can assemble teams to create. Nothing happens without leaders.  Biggest a-ha moment?  Coming to the United States from the Dominican Republic and finally having warm running water and continuous electricity. When did you feel helpless?  Have you ever had All You Can Eat Sushi and had to worry about paying the 75 cent surcharge for every extra piece? Has Sarasota failed millennials?  “Failed” is a strong word. I believe Sarasota could do a better job at incentivizing developers to create opportunities for younger professionals.   My hear goes out to . . . .  To the children of Sarasota and organizations like Teen Court, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA that mentor, motivate, guide and help these kids that otherwise would have nowhere to go.  Share your most recent social media post. On Facebook, I shared a New York Times article titled “How to Build a Successful Team” and dedicated it to all my friends building their empire in 2018. In Sarasota-Bradenton, wedo too much complaining and too little action. What's next? Next we build up ourselves, our neighbors and Sarasota. We become a powerhouse of culture and excellence. Then, we win.