10:45 PM, Thursday, May 28th, 2009:
An entry that will forever be known by the number.
A day that will take months to process.
A reaction that I never saw coming.
How can you not love The Journey...
I am a walking zombie. I've barely eaten, hardly slept, and am not even close to coming to terms with all that's happened and then a phone call to Jess blew up my world. Let me just get the news out of the way:
It went perfect. We're producing a pilot for Comedy Central this summer. It's gonna be at the Comedy Central studios on Santa Monica. It's the same type of deal Carlos Mencia got which went straight to air as "Mind of Mencia". It's going to be like the Up & Adam concept, except no guests - just all my stuff - from the egos to the parody songs to the political rants... etc.
Breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeathe deep. Now, for the detail whores (and me in about 20 years), the day that was:
Amazingly, I was able to sleep for 4 hours. At 4:11, I looked at the clock and that was it... my mind started racing. Stayed in bed and tried to shut it up for nearly an hour - and finally got up. So wired, I went running at like 4:50 am. Then came home and paced. Finally I got dressed...
Did the "Mirror-Pep-Talk"...which I've honestly never done in my life. Funny right? Of all the big moments... this one I was actually a little nervous for. I really had to jump around a lot and talk shit to myself. LOL.
I show this, just because it's amazing I was actually sitting for more than 3 seconds. Dear Jesus I've destroyed my backyard with that 4-Square court. LMAO.
Work? Ridiculous. Just... no one was there because of out of town meetings so I'm just covering phones and FINALLY it was time to leave. 10 minutes before I left I got the form letter from Facebook saying they re-enabled my account. Even Facebook knew this was gonna be a good day. :-) After having to do my hair in the parking garage because I used the wrong gell and it got all dry and fluffy...
...I was in the lobby at exactly 2:15 when Robb & Gary (Weller & Grossman) called to say they'd be late. UGH. But, our meeting was at 2:30. 2:15 was more of a "pep-talk" time, so they must have been aware of my early morning mirror-time. :-)
However, they were not aware of the "Adam loses his fucking mind" time. That's 2:31. When they haven't arrived, aren't answering their phone, and I know we only have 20 minutes with this guy. At 2:35 I finally tell the dude at the front desk that I'll do this without them. No WAY after all this rescheduling I'm missing this opportunity. He went and got Jim's assistant who came out at 2:40... right when Robb & Gary got there. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.
We walk in and it's clear they both know Jim well as the small talk about their history dominates. All I keep thinking in my mind was what they told me the night before: "OWN THE ROOM." And well, I wasn't - but I figured once we get to the videos I would be... but Robb & Gary just go into the mode man. "Adam is a Legend" is the first line out of their mouths and seriously there was a moment when I thought I'd never speak. Then, the really surreal part: Comedy Central already knew my stuff. Knew about the first video blogger status, knew about The Journey. Jim even said: "I love The Journey" and had seen the introduction demo, etc. I mean, they knew more about me than Robb & Gary did. Mind-blowing. So when I started playing the clips, it felt like a refresher. From the "Maybeville" Demmo to Let's Bomb Iran to Aunt Jemima to Camera Cop to Egos to 4tvs to the Macbook parody... as you all know I could go for days if need be. Again, I said very little and Robb & Gary just went to town.
Then Jim just starts talking about the Comedy Central studio and how it's a great development tool. Worked well for Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia) and they oftentimes go "straight to air" from it. It's set-up with the cameras and has 99 seats for the audience. We'd be able to produce the half-hour show and go from there. Everyone in the room is nodding their head and I'm lost. Was he saying what it sounded like he was saying? He certainly was certainly missing the "pants-shitting" excitement I would have in my voice. I mean, waiters have told me "the specials" with more excitement. It was so blase that I followed the lead and just nodded my head. They asked about specific ideas and I jumped in with the "Egos as the house-band" idea I thought up for "Up & Adam" and Jim really, really liked that. It's absolutely mandatory in my eyes. It's just something no one has ever done before in a live setting (uhm, except me the last 10 years) and if done correctly will literally make the show. We talk about my trip to Africa, Jim mentions someone from the office will be in touch with them the following week, yadda yadda - after about 45 minutes, we're done.
We walk out to the lobby to get our parking validated and Robb pats me on the back with a big smile. I look at him and Gary like they're insane. "Are you guys gonna translate this for me? 'Cause I'm fuckin' clueless." Gary shook his head yes. We get to the elevators and they are clearly giddy, at which point I start to smile. "That's as far as we've ever gotten with them..." Gary says, and I immediately whip out the camera as we walk into the elevator. They were very, very happy (Gary left, Robb right):
"So, that's a pilot then... right?" And it was. It was huge. We were producing a pilot for Comedy Central that could easily go "straight to air" as the first episode of a series. I immediately went into scheming mode and explained to them about the 4tvs set-up and how crucial it was for this show...
...and they wanted to nix it. And I quote, "I mean, Adam - how are we gonna sync 4 televisions in a live setting... it's just." You may giggle for a few seconds. Those of you who have followed this for ten years have to know how remarkably endearing that is. It's only the foundation of the entire Journey. It's only the idea that made me sketch my own personal flux capacitor:
But from their perspective? They were me 11 years ago trying to conceive how and it is a little mind numbing. I tried to re-assure them, but until I show them the first act of The Trinitrons, they're never gonna believe me. But either way - it has to, and will be part of this show. As I mentioned before - if done correctly it will be the hook that not only gets this picked up... but gets this talked about once it airs. Bottom line - no one else has ever done it... and I've been doin' it since the 90s.
As we're taking the escalator to the parking garage we run into Jim Kellum (big agent) who they knew very well. Seems he's pitching a reality show idea to Comedy Central that needs a host. They pimp me on the spot, he gives me his card and it seems about as reasonable as anything that had occured that hour. As we go our seperate ways they both wish me well on my trip and tell me to relax 'cause the next several weeks will be filled with a bunch of phone calls, etc. and I'm not missin' much.
As I get into my car I go through these emotions, in this order, in I swear to you 4 seconds:
Shock. Just utter astonishment. A total moment of trying to process what actually just happened...
A little bit of joy as I realize that this is as good as it could possibly have gone...
Fighting the tears as the weight of it starts to hit me. Again, this is 3-4 seconds from the video. And it was just the beginning...
As is tradition, my dad got the first call - and incredibly I was heading to the Wilshire Blvd. entrance to the 405 north exactly as I was 2 years previous when I told him the Up & Adam news. This was far less emotional actually... and it was one of the sad things about Up & Adam falling through - I knew it was the first and last time I'd be able to call my dad with news that would literally knock him to the floor. Because this news? We're all expecting it. We knew of the meeting, we know how good the content is - and although much bigger than the Up & Adam news, nowhere near the shock that was. I teared up a tiny bit, but was just really happy and excited and it set off a series of phone calls for hours as I sat in traffic. Emotional, but not overly so. Just very happy, knew it was huge, and excited to share it. And then, came, Jess.
I just don't know where to begin here. I didn't think twice about it when I called, and even when she answered it was like any other time we talk. As I started to tell her what had just happened, I got choked up... and when I heard her voice react (christ, I'm starting to cry as I type this) I just started to lose it. It was suddenly 2001 and I was making the call I wrote about in "Breathe Deep". Except Jess was 8 years away with her husband. I got to the point where I couldn't talk, Jess was actually not in a place where she could talk so we hung up. I then completely broke down. I was baffled by it. I put the camera on me out of shock more than anything. And then I started to remember the struggles of 2000 and I realllllllly lost it. Introducing what has to be the emotional apex of the entire Journey:
She should've been here. She was a casualty of this struggle. In the end, of course it was the right decision for both of us - but it's so bittersweet all I could do was weep. It wasn't tears of joy however. As I've mentioned several times in the 5 years since we split, it will always be sad to me. I'm a fan of The Journey. I loved watching Jess & Adam move out to LA and struggle through 2000. I loved that team who believed 4tvs was a great idea and uprooted their lives to make it happen. They were right! Look! It worked! 4tvs made it! 4tvs is going to be recognized on a national level like no other...
...and I am alone, calling her from 2500 miles away. To anyone who has followed this, you really, really get it. I love Jessica. That's why we split - because we loved each other enough to know the other person couldn't live in "their" respective cities. That love has not lessened, it has simply shifted. All the bonds are broken except one: 4tvs. She was next to me the night I thought of it. She slept in the same bed I hung that flux capacitor drawing from. She watched me sink my life's savings into it and she helped me set-up every single night. She felt the rush of The Comedy Store when the act absolutely killed. She sacrificed with me, she married me, she believed in me. She should have been a part of this and as you saw in the video it is heartbreaking to me. If you're wondering what I was saying, it was simply "wow. jesus. what the fuck is this. where is this coming from", etc. It really hit me like a 2x4 and honestly - I have to stop typing about it because it's too much.
This whole thing is too much really. It's too overwhelming. The Journey keeps everything in focus, at all times. Memories don't fade with The Journey. And although on some levels that's really cool, it can tend to simply be too much to process. I can barely focus on what's happening and what's coming because I'm so wrapped up in this 10 year story. I need to get some sleep and, for the love of FUCK, go to work tomorrow. My last day.
Eight-Ninety-Five. 895. I absolutely love it. I've never been more proud of The Journey. It was worth every second of my blood, sweat & tears to tell this story. It can never be taken from me.
Paradigm tomorrow. Looks like I avoided those stones in the stream.
Jess & Adam