Studio City resident Mikhail Tank released a music single last October. It won him an accolade he always wanted—the Guinness World Record for "Longest Title for a Music Single."
The 44-word single refers to his personal philosophy about setting people free from anything and anyone that holds them back in life and is entitled: "Simplify When You Get Crowded Inside, Certain Ones Prefer to Drink Your Energy, Falling Right into The Hands of Time, Release Those Who Deprive, Throw Away Ties That Bind, Just Simplify, No Need to Overextend Yourself, When They Just Rely on Your Time. No."
The soft-spoken man who exudes spirituality, found out last week that his single will be considered the longest music title, and that the half-century old category will now be "rested" or retired.
So which came first the song title or the desire to break the Guinness World Record? As a small child, Tank decided that setting a goal of breaking the Guinness World Record would bring him both self esteem and the kind of accomplishment that would fuel his life forward.
"Insecurities can make people stronger," he said. "I believe in using your flaws to fuel your life forward. I want to help people who are letting others hold them back by coming from a basic place of vulnerability. That's how I want to share my philosophy of life."
Why is sharing his personal philosophy so important?
He explained: "People idolize other people and externals in life. They become sheep instead of looking inward. My job is to help free people by helping them to look inward. It's about helping you be you."
He does this through Darksoul, an original performance art stage play, which Tank described as taking a flashlight to ones inner cobwebs. Addressing that process is explained as Darksoul.
Tank arrived in the United States from St. Petersburg, Russia at the age of 8. At 13, during the angst-filled, teenage years Tank derived strength, solace and inspiration from listening to singer, songwriter Tori Amos's song Icicle and set goals that even he would surpass. After meeting Amos years later, he would record and re-release the song in 2007.
Tank gets his message out to the world by producing and directing, and now he is co-directing his second film My Pretty Pony based on a short story by best-selling author, Stephen King, through King's Dollar Baby Films. He is also an author, actor (acting with Isabella Rossellini in the ABC-TV show Alias) and a documentary film producer.
In 2004, Studio City beckoned to Tank and he moved in the area of Moorpark Street and Tujunga Avenue.
"I came for the work, art and relaxation," he said. "It's a lovely area. I love the winter here. It's not too close to the water, and it's not too close to the hills but close enough to everything else."
He spends a lot of time at his favorite haunt, the on Tujunga. "I love all the shops on Tujunga. I think it's my favorite street."
Studio City has a closer connection to Tank's heart. In 2004 and 2005 he produced and directed the documentary Believe, Smile and Love about the first synagogue in Studio City.
Congregation , the little white chapel on Moorpark, was built in 1958 and founded by Rabbi Meier Schimmel, who Tank interviewed for the film.
"He was my spiritual mentor and was amazing!" Tank said.
The rabbi's protege' and long-time friend of Tank's, Rabbi Aaron Benson, co--produced the documentary. Believe, Smile and Love premiered on JLTV in 2007.
Also, Tank released a collection of his audio performance art work titled, REMASTERED via Itunes and through Amazon Worldwide. He also recently premiered the documentary, For the Special Ones: The Importance of Creativity through his website www.MikhailTank.com.
What are his dreams for the future?
Tank paused and thought for a moment then answered, "I'd love to build a theater and do performance art to help people face their truths. There's a laugh that comes from facing ones truth."
He said he draws his inspiration from a surprising place: "From silence. The beauty is it can be anywhere."