Just days away from turning 25, Cameron Sluggett doesn’t have his eyes set on a corner office in a high rise building. Actually his vision and drive are quite the opposite. Sluggett dances to the beat of his own drum, so much so that it has inspired childhood friends and filmmakers Soren and Eriksen Dickens to produce a documentary about him.
“Dirty Toes,” a documentary produced by Platinum Peek Productions will be released via You Tube this Friday, May 3. A film just barely 60 minutes in length, the brother duo has set out to show viewers not just another way to live, but perhaps inspire them to relook at their own lives.
“He definitely kind of marches to the beat of his own drum, that’s for sure,” Eriksen said of Sluggett.
As evidence to this fact, Sluggett has owned five small businesses, allowing him to travel throughout the country and experience varying aspects of life firsthand. Facts in and of themselves which some may find inspiring, yet his story doesn’t stop there.
Cameron Sluggett has cerebral palsy.
“I remember I was mad because I was trying to get perfect attendance, so I would get an award at an assembly,” Sluggett said of being diagnosed at the age of 10, “and I had to miss a week of school.”
The free spirit, described by his friends as a nomad, was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. A fact which seemed to affect his speech as well as usage of his hands as he grew older and prompted his parents to seek a proper diagnosis. A week of testing removed him from school. That cost him the award he sought, yet landed him a laptop to make the rigor of school a bit more user friendly.
“I just kind of rolled with it. Back then it was kind of hard,” Sluggett said, “because the curriculum wasn’t tailored to be done on a computer so I had to jump through some hoops. But it’s where I got my love for technology.”
The Oakdale High School graduate shared it was through the advocacy and drive of his mother that he was able to maintain and keep up with the others in school. Yet he quickly learned upon entering high school that traditional education was not the fit for him.
Shortly after starting his landscaping business at the age of 17, Sluggett began skipping school to work.
“I started ditching school to work, but I still would e-mail my teachers and ask for the work so I could do it,” he said, noting through his upbringing he understood the importance of graduating high school.
And so he did, through independent study.
The entrepreneur shared he felt he learned more through life experience than the classroom setting. Thanks to parents that were supportive, he was able to pursue what worked best for him.
“I think they saw from a very young age I was inquisitive, so they knew I would figure it out,” he stated.
As documentary filmmakers, Eriksen shared he and his brother Soren felt Sluggett’s story was more than just interesting, it’s inspiring.
“Just the fact that it’s an optimistic story, it’s a success story, it’s an inspiring story and I’ve always been one to not follow the masses in my beliefs or actions,” Eriksen said. “Cam’s kind of like that, but even more than me. He takes it to an extreme. That was very appealing to me and my brother as well. He’s very much a free thinker.
“It’s just different,” he continued of the story, “it’s unique and it can probably touch a lot of people.”
“I have done some pretty cool stuff,” Sluggett said of his life’s journey and experience thus far. “So, I got really excited that they wanted to do a documentary on me and kind of tell my story and see where it goes.”
“I continuously remind myself that my life is pretty different,” he continued. “I’ve had a couple of hurdles, but you know, you just figure out how to do something a different way. That’s what you have to do.”
Perhaps it’s the nonchalant attitude of Sluggett, his bravery and fearlessness or even his quirkiness which will draw people in to his story. Regardless, the Dickens brothers believe it’s a story which can and will change the lives of those who view it.
“We don’t want people just to watch the documentary and say, that was cool,” Eriksen admitted. “We want them to take it to heart; some of the themes, some of the concepts which are explored.”
“I think there’s a part of everyone that wishes they were more like Cameron,” he continued. “To just leave everything behind and just do what you truly want to do.”
So what drives Sluggett, a nomad with cerebral palsy who walks to the beat of his own drum? That answer is not only quite simple, but demonstrated through the documentary star’s every day life.
“He wants to avoid at all costs, falling into the 9 to 5 trap,” Eriksen shared of his film subject. “He’s almost a little bit radical in his beliefs. He doesn’t want to live for the one week of the year when you get vacation. He wants his whole life to almost be a vacation, not that he’s not a hard worker. There is no playbook with Cam.”
“Not to work for someone,” Sluggett shared was his primary motivation behind every business he has created. “I’m kind of stubborn. Not that I don’t get along or I’m not a team player. I’m totally a people person.
“I want to wake up every day and I want to go do what I want to,” he continued. “It’s two fold, if you wake up every day and you want to go to work, you’re living the dream.”
He admits that while he doesn’t see his life as different, he can appreciate that his mindset and drive is not that of the typical 25-year-old, with or without physical challenge.
“One of the main things I’m trying to convey, is have a great quality of life which can be interpreted a million different ways,” he said. “At the highest level it’s as simple as if you wake up and if you’re … not doing what you want to do, go do something else. Live a good quality of life, but not fooling yourself by the size of your paycheck each week.”
“The goal is to almost start a movement and just kind of see where it goes,” Eriksen said of what they hope to inspire through this film. “Once we release the documentary we’re going to be looking more for what to do with it. We’re obviously going to try and enter it into some festivals, that’s going to be big.”
A Facebook Page for the documentary called Cameron’s Dirty Toes Community has been created. Additional information on the documentary and other Platinum Peek Productions can be found on platinumpeek.com.
“We feel it’s very valuable,” Eriksen stated of the message. “Don’t follow the masses, think for yourself; think critically. Do what makes you happy.”