Entry #1000
12:44 PM - January 2nd, 2010...
I'm starting this entry now simply to have it fall on the exact 10 year anniversary. Truth of the matter is, that I will be moving nonstop until tomorrow evening with the show tonight and the shoot tomorrow, so this will easily take a day or two to put together. I'm not gonna short change this one. :-)
The show was completed early this morning and there's nothing I'd love more than to sit on it for a month. I know there's things I missed, things I skimmed too quickly, and pacing issues when it's all said and done - but I have no doubt that it's as good as any one person could possibly do in 2 weeks while trying to not piss off every single friend and family member in his home town. Home is a very difficult place to work, but I had little choice thanks to the extravagant ticket prices had I shortened my stay. I pulled it off. I'm writing entry #1000 which in itself is mind blowing to me. A thousand memories. And onto the show tonight...
Christ that looks super-imposed doesn't it? And that's not even HD... blown away by this projector. It's the following evening btw... I will save the details of the set-up and teardown for another entry as an unresolved issue with management will certainly be worth a story. For this entry however, I have to get my thoughts out on how completely overwhelming this was.
I broke the show up into 6 parts and I spoke and sang a song in between the sections. I thought it was a good way to keep things moving and provided an opportunity for me to read the audience and fill in comedy if need be, or explanation, etc. What it did not do however, was provide me the ability to just run the fuck away which I wanted to do at nearly every difficult moment. Boy oh boy is it one thing to upload those videos in solitary confinement, and an entirely different thing to share it in a theater of your closest friends and family. I did have to walk out a few times and most definitely felt that directorial "birthing room" angst that most filmakers feel during a screening. When you're performing live? You're busy. You're doing other tasks and you can influence, at least partially, how the show goes. Not with a movie. And then stopping it at crucially difficult moments in the story and then singing a song? Say, about Jessica while she's sitting their with her husband? Yeah, let's just say I completely underestimated how difficult that would be.
The reactions however, are why I will do this show in LA and am absolutely stoked about doing it in front of people that know nothing about the story. It's the documentary equivalent of a Rorschack test. How people took it was as fascinating as any social experiment I've ever read about. You'd think they had all watched a completely different movie. Technically speaking? There is more positive in it than negative, but depending on your state of mind? Depending on how you view life? You saw that ratio completely one sided. Few people saw it as even as it was. Some absolutely got the theme: the outcome should not affect your view on the story within. The Comedy Central experience was overwhelmingly positive because I focused on the joy within it rather than specifically the outcome. The 2008 political season will not be hampered if Obama doesn't win a 2nd term, or if history views him as impotent. It had nothing to do with agenda and policies to me, it had to do with something far, far greater and that can never be taken away... yet several still saw those few moments as a shining example that I must be a Democrat. The only thing I said unequivocally was that looking for reasons to go to war (i.e. Iraq) is foolish as it leaves you open to disaster at home (Katrina) and we're spread too thin. Other than that one sentence? There is nothing even remotely partisan or even biased. That's the whole point of this entire project! Simply show what happens, let others judge how it feels to them. It inspired some to say: "I could absolutely never go through that much shit and keep going..." and others to say:  "If you can go through that much shit and keep going, so can I..." Mesmerizing talking to people about it and what I wouldn't give to do this show for college students -- and then have a question and answer period about how they perceive their own life and their own goals. The show quickly stops being about me when it ends and becomes a fairly huge reflection on your own life. There is something here. I'm not sure exactly what the path is, but this project is very, very special and for the first time I'm really seeing just how rare it is to have captured this type of vulnerability, for this long...
...however I still can't stop thinking about the rage within my annual yearend drinking video. I'm afraid life has handed me a few too many heartbreaks and the hard-edge on me is so remarkably thick that I feel for anyone expecting that romantic, loving gentleman who was last seen by the mirage that was Donna in Fall of 2006. I'm moving quickly towards the guy that ends up in his house angry and alone as he ages and I haven't the slightest idea how to prevent that. I'm already the old man that slams the door in the face of some kid trying to sell candy bars for the class trip if I even open it to begin with. I've already run from anything closely resembling a "cosmic connection" for fear of being abandoned by yet another woman. My walls so high I'm proud of them. I mean, so proud I seem to reinforce them daily. Goddamn the yearend video was frightening. No idea how to heal that spirit. Time of course, but it may be far more than that. I think these ten years have done irrepairable damage and all I can do is keep going and hoping my positive actions at some point pay dividends. But as it relates to women? I completely, 100%, overwhelmingly trust them... to leave me. Every time. I believe in SHOWBUSINESS more than I believe in the ability of a woman to fight for me instead of find something better eventually. Oh my influence is positive on them, they inevitably find themselves moreso than ever beforehand - but when it comes to reason/season/lifetime? I'm all 3. I'm in their life for a reason, as a lover for a season, as a friend for a lifetime. That equals a specatcularly bitter man over time.
Last night however, you had a spectacularly exhausted man. The show was not fun for me in the least. I really do wish I had gone with the earlier idea of simply showing the funniest videos, and having some beers and really celebrating. Instead we're left with an incredibly well told story, an incredibly real story, but in the end -- an exhausting story. Some may have left inspired, but they certainly didn't have "fun".
They had fun doin' donuts on the way home of course. Man the weather. At 7pm (show started at 7:30) seemingly directly over a 2 mile radius where the movie theater was, a blustery windy snow that in some parts made for a complete whiteout. Depending on what part of town you came from it was perfectly clear, or blizzard conditions. It was already in the teens, so it basically destroyed 2/3 of my guestlist that thought it'd just be a cool night and planned on coming. Hell I even had some family members say:  "We were turning around at one point". Yet some came from an hour or so away and simply were not missing it. The remaining 40-50 that did show up however were very excited and as I said previously had remarkably different takes on it... but I don't believe anyone wasn't affected.
The night ended with a nice gift from Jessica, and a picture that is worth a thousand words. Fitting...
She told me today that she was really surprised our relationship played such a big part in the show and the comment baffled me. It has absolutely been the foundation of The Journey and the one tangible sacrifice that absolutely defined the first ten years. Our continuing friendship doesn't erase that. The only thing that will replace it is a bigger sacrifice... and honestly? I'm not sure there's one to be had. Time will tell of course. Either way, watching the video - it was cool watching those around us watching the moment. Because of the show, Jess and I are instantly "characters" and this was absolutely a scene and you saw people watching almost completely disconnected from the fact this was reality. Man, that makes my head spin a bit. I must say, I'm ready to get out of the past and back to the future facing Adam. Heh, Back to the future. How remarkably fitting considering I'm loading footage from the shoot today which has Back to the Future 2 written all over it. For now, the night that was...
All apologies for not premiering this song last night. It was to end the night, but after the movie ended, I was just done. The last thing that was needed was some 2 minute retrospective song. It works perfectly for the video though.
More about this night and Ravi: Businessman of the Century, in the next entry (maybe 1002)... for now I put together the magical moment where 2010 Adam peeks in on 2000 Adam and Entry #1.