Our Potter Potential

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Tayler Boelk  - Student Journalist -
Potter Potential. Photo credit to kicktraq.com

Potter Potential. Photo credit to kicktraq.com

Matthew F. Johnson is one Duluth Denfeld High School Alumni who is making big changes. Known well around the city for his success on the Duluth speech team, Matt has spent about a year writing, rehearsing and perfecting his speech titled, "Our Potter Potential." The speech focuses on how our generation, often referred to as the "entitlement generation," can have a positive influence on the world.

Matt tells readers, "I can't express enough how much the process of creating this speech has changed my life for the better. It helped me come out of the closet to my family and friends, it helped me lose 110 pounds, and it helped me focus on striving for all my career goals in life." During his senior year of high school Matt used this piece for competition, bringing him all the way to the final round at the Minnesota state tournament. The state tournament was not the end of Matt's success, however.

In April of 2013, Matt performed his speech at the Duluth Denfeld talent show. Little did Matt know, the CEO of IR Media House, a local film production company, was sitting in the audience, Daniel Oyinloye, there to see his little sister's performance. He was very impressed by Matt and his speech. Following the show, Daniel approached him with the idea to make a motivational film for YouTube.

The next few months involved a lot of brainstorming, coffee, and emails. In the first week of August, Matt and IR Media House began recording his speech, and eventually filming it at Duluth's very own Glensheen Mansion, keeping up the work through the summer.

The end of August came quickly, and Matt packed up for culinary school in Hyde Park, New York. There, he plans to earn a bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts Management so that he can go on to own his own food company. During the semester Matt and Daniel were back to email as they created the script and began looking for actors. Over Winter break, Matt returned to Duluth with big plans for the filming of "Our Potter Potential" at Duluth Denfeld High School among other places, and I had the unique opportunity to become an extra for the film.
To see videos and pictures from the making of the film, it is available on the Our Potter Potential Facebook page. By liking the page you can receive updates and more behind the scenes info about Matt, the crew, and the video.

Matt says those who have heard the speech have been very supportive, and even motivated to make changes in their own lives. He is very excited to see the final outcome of the project, and hopes that everyone who has been following its making will be pleased as well. However, Matt's main goal is to inspire others.

Matt says, "The amazing aspect of the speech itself, and it shocks me to this day, is that the speech is relatable to anyone! Almost every single human being on the planet adores the Harry Potter series. Countless people are concerned or excited about our generation's potential. Everyone, in some way, has difficult goals they want to accomplish. And lastly, everyone loves a powerful, heartwarming, success story."

The video touches on many positive and negative aspects of our generation. Matt's great personality and endless Harry Potter references are sure to keep one smiling. This video is hoping to set the record straight that our generation is capable and willing to work hard and never give up on our goals.

If there was one sentence Matt could say about "Our Potter Potential", it is this- "It will definitely be a video that makes you think, and hopefully, it will inspire you to change the world by the time the credits roll."

To see the "Our Potter Potential" Trailer check it out on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTgskIfaTNg
To "Like" Matt's Facebook page and see behind the scenes action and updates visit https://www.facebook.com/OurPotterPotentialVideo