For the uninitiated, The Great Chernesky is the greatest performer this side of this Mississippi. He is the humble genius behind CherneskyFest, and works very hard to preserve the folk songs of his beloved hometown of Auburn, New York. We caught up with this whirlwind of a man to get his perspective on our five questions…
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am T.G. Christopher Chernesky aka The Great Chernesky. I am a full-blooded Auburnian (Auburn, NY of course). I am a performer, entertainer, drinker, and competitive POG player.
2. What does DIY mean to you?
Do it yourself. And I’m not talking about your sex life, dudes. I’m talking about having an idea and making it happen. That’s the craziest thing anyone can do–make his/her own idea happen.
A year ago I decided to make a music festival, and lo and behold we’re now on the second CherneskyFest. I want everyone out there to feel empowered to bring their own concepts to life. There’s no point in sitting around snorting marijuanas and talking about all these ideas you have–take that time and snort-power and put it into something productive.
3. Why should people choose the DIY method?
The appeal of DIY is complete creative control. It’s something I live by. You don’t need to subscribe to the common definition of success in the creative world. You define the terms of your own success. Not only shouldn’t you worry about the standard definition of success, but also question the definition of “selling out”. Rate success and selling out in terms of your own beliefs, not what is commonly believed.
There’s all this talk of a DIY community. I’ve seen it and I’ve been in it, and I have benefitted from it–but everyone seems so wrapped up in a “DIY” community. At the end of the day the “Y” stands for Yourself, keep your mind open and look around your community as a whole, not necessarily just the so-called DIY community. If you have a project, don’t feel you have to appease a certain group of people, the value in your idea is that it’s important to you. Be open to helping others, as well. If you expect help in your project, others may need something from you.
4. What do you want to get off of your chest right now?
I got the idea the other day to hunt down my eskimo brothers. In case you aren’t familiar with that term, it’s the dudes who have slept with the same women as you. I made this Facebook group and everything, but I know there are more out there. I guess I’m requesting that if you think you’ve crossed paths (not streams) with me, to come forward so I can put you on my Slam-ily Tree. Just like DIY kids, eski-bros need to look out for one another.
5. Are there any people, places or ideas that you think folks should know about?
Everyone needs to know about CherneskyFest 2012. This year we’ve opened up the festival to applications from performers. If you’re a musician, comedian, or any other type of entertainer you should apply and perform for the good people of Auburn. More information can be found at: http://www.auburnmusic.org/.