Ground Speed: 0 mph
Distance to go: 2997 miles
“Yes Mom. Yes. Are you sure? I know I’ve told you about—well…ok. Okay. OKAY. How about this, I’ll start writing an email to friends and family so that they will know what is going on. Great. I gotta’ go. Yes. Absolutely. Love you too. Nite.”
That conversation occurred 8 hours before my alarm clock would stir me from well needed rest at the crisp hour of 3:30 in the morning. My producing partner Vox’ed me only a couple of hours earlier. What is Voxer? A Vox is an instant 2-way radio message that is recorded on my phone I can respond to whenever I want to. The Vox I received picked up music, a crowd, and some muted conversations as they navigated a festival party at one of the world’s highly respected film festivals. A festival that I would be joining in less than 12 hours. My phone chirped, ding’ed and vibrated with Facebook messages, Instagram posts, tweets, re-tweets, text messages and yes: Voxes.
A very assertive cellular device that is attached to my hip gets upset when it’s on silent, or turned off. And, as if in retaliation from being at rest, the moment I turn it on it has to share with me every detail of the dreams it had the night before. Ding! Chirp! Ding! Ding! The endless chatter of fun of the new photos, likes, shares, and comments on an event so far removed from my Thursday evening in the suburbs that I put down the phone and wait for when I arrive in person.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
3:30AM arrived sooner than I thought. I wasn’t expected at the office for an early meeting. I didn’t have a deadline or a report to write. In fact, depending on the time of year, I don’t even have an office to go to. So why in the world would I ask my alarm clock to help me start my day less than two hours after my producing partner’s had ended their’s? There wasn’t a mandatory training, no important investor meeting, no sit-down with a department or staff to tackle some new problem or task. No. Nothing like that at all—yet the momentum of my work week to come was already fueled by the assistance of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Voxer; and the energy and excitement of the first event on my itinerary that had started without me: The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
I looked at my printed schedule for the next nine days, a rainbow-blocked sheet of paper detailing my whereabouts from 6am-2am. I looked at the times that my days would start-and-end over this trip, and my eyes widened. The entries were color-coded to show me my meetings with friends, agents, studio executives, and press. Purple owned the page–highlighting two important events. They read as:
Tribeca Film Festival – Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard Premiere, New York City, and
PRISM Awards Show – Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.
In only a few short hours I would be racing up the coast at 150 miles per hour sitting in the cafe car of an Amtrak train staring out over the undeveloped coast of Maryland, zipping over the Delaware River, and arriving at Penn Station for something that I can’t resolve to call a business trip, nor anything I would call ordinary. Nine days buttressed between two cities, two coasts, and two movies in a frenzy of events, meetings, and lunches. Shuttling from place to place, new meetings popping up, and running into friends around the city. It will be a trip complete with it’s own story of fun, adventure, and surprises. I keep telling myself it’s just another trip.
“Dad, Dad, Dad…you are going to wide the big twain into the city?” My son asks from his bed with the l’s and r’s still struggling to find their place in his words. He continues with his unbridled excitement, “We wode a train! We wode a train, Dad! Wemember?”
“Yes. We rode the train at Dutch Wonderland. You and me and Mom.”
“Yaaah!” He pulled on my shirt and continued, “Dad, I want to wide the big twain with you!”
“The big train that goes to the city?” I asked.
“Yaah!” He beamed. He was ready to leave.
“In the morning I will already be gone. I will be getting on the big train and then a plane.” And then, in his words, I’d be “faw, faw away.”
“You are going on a pwane, Daddy?”
“Alright! You will be getting on a pwane and going Zooom! Way, way, fast, Zoom!” He continued with his hands simulating take-off with all five fingers extended and launching off his other hand. “And then you will be faw, faw away?” He asked with a tilt of his head.
He was more excited that I was going to be able to go zoom, not as concerned that I would be away for a while. But to his credit, travel wasn’t new to him, nor was Dad leaving for a business trip. It was just another trip.
Yah, he’s probably right…just another trip.