Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Quick Trip to Kentucky

As many of you no doubt recall, this blog was originally created to tell stories of my travels -- specifically in Thailand -- and since then I've been asked to blog a bit more. I have only today returned from a trip entertaining enough to warrant an entry.

First, to catch you up, those of you unfamiliar with what I've been working on lately:

In December I went to Kentucky. I was there from a Thursday evening through a Saturday morning, but the trip was for one 2 hour meeting on Friday afternoon. At Southeast, a large (9,000+ seats), non-denominational, but similar doctrinally to Southern Baptist, megachurch near Louisville, I was asked to design the set for their 2008 Easter Pageant, to be performed in their sanctuary. A big show. Cast of 500. Assorted livestock. And a huge multi-media component that entails them spending some half million dollars just on filming elements to be worked into the show.

To be more specific, I wasn't fully asked to design the set. I was asked to design a proposal, which they would pay me for, and then I would return and pitch that proposal, as would another designer, and they would choose from between us.

I explained how deeply problematic that was, but was told that as much as they agreed, the powers that be at the top (well, not quite the top) of the church heirarchy insisted this is the only way they would commit to spending so much money.

So I returned to LA, and although I procrastinated a great deal because of my annoyance with the process, I also put in time, much time, on this proposal, waiting for the day they would call and say,

"We need you to come out right away! As soon as possible! We need to make a decision on this."

That time came last weekend, and I booked a ticket to go to Louisville this past Thursday, with a return planned for today.

The week leading up to Thursday was hectic. Putting more work into the model. Reading the show again. Figuring out how exactly to stage a very elaborate story across a space measuring some 200 feet in width. YOu get the idea.

Finishing things just in time, I headed off to the airport, where I boarded the plane.

And sat on the tarmac. For about 3 hours. Not so bad. There are, however, no direct flights to Louisville, so I had a connection in Atlanta, which I missed. There was another flight, just one more, which I had also just missed. The airline gave me a hotel voucher and a meal voucher, which got me a hotel with an extremely slow shuttle service and all the airport food I could eat for $7, and told me not to get my luggage.

I had my laptop as a carry-on, but nothing else. Actually, they said I could request my luggage, but in all of the chaos at the Atlanta airport they recommended against it.

"It will take an hour or an hour and a half to get your bags, and right now it is already all set to go on the flight tomorrow morning to Louisville."

I decided to make do with whatever toothbrush the hotel would give me -- it turned out to be 3" long, bright yellow, and sporting 7 bristles -- and headed off for the night.

Let me speed through the rest of the story: my morning flight was delayed as well. My 9:30 meeting became a noon meeting, which became a 1 pm meeting.

I successfully made it to the meeting at 1 pm. Unfortunately, my luggage did not. Oh yes, that's right. My luggage was still, well, I don't quite know. In Atlanta?

So, to sum up, I flew across the country, with all the accompanying delays and hardships, to present a model and a series of drawings at a meeting which I instead attended without model or drawings. Instead, at the meeting, I batted my eyes a bit. Cracked the occasional joke. Filled the room with the very special odor I had picked up over two days of travel with no change of clothes. And was my general charming self.


I'll let y'all know if I get the job....


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