At some point, creators have to travel for their art. This is one such tale, told in hopes of making other creators’ journeys more pleasant and positive.
World premieres only happen once, obviously, and experiencing them in whatever form they take can be worthwhile.
Thursday was the world premiere of “Clandestine” by Feenix Films. Full disclosure, my work on the film was done long ago, but the Core Four of Feenix Films, David LaRosa, Nick DeMatteo, Kate A. McGrath, and Jeanine Laino, have worked tirelessly. They deserved a premiere. Once I saw the dates of the Houston Wordlefest Film Festival lined up with my scheduled Spring Break from my other life, I wanted to support their efforts and experience the event myself.
So with the support of the goddess, I headed south. Here are some lessons I learned…
1) Pack early, whatever that takes. For me (a storyteller who sometimes acts but mostly stays home writing) ddeciding what to wear became an issue. My go-to New Paltz Hawks sweatshirt wasn’t going to cut it. Neither were any of my Hackensack High School sports gear. I needed button down dress shirts, but every one that I owned was in the dry cleaners (yeah, about two dozen, happens too often, and my dry cleaner laughs at me). Retail was required.
2) Find what you are going to pack your stuff into well ahead of time. Turns out my son used all our luggage to move up to college and never returned any of it. I announced that it was no problem, I would use the garment bag we have. Actually, we have two, so I was set. Upon inspection, however, we discovered they were stored above our dryer and heat from that aging dinosaur of an appliance had discolored” them and warped their frames. Some more retail was required.
These would not do. The goddess took over and shopping ensued.
3) Read the Omens. As the goddess and I entered Newark Airport, we saw this:
I should have recognized it for the sign it was; if a New York pigeon was having trouble finding his luggage, challenges loomed.
The second omen was when we realized everyone else in line (this is an airport, there are always lines) held a different piece of paper than us. Long story short, we needed to go to a machine to do a “first check-in” which resulted in a baggage tag and and a boarding pass (I told you I mostly stay at home writing). Hijinks ensued.
4) To thine own self be true. A helpful airport employee (yes, they exist; not all are defensive) translated the check-in process for us, and kindly asked, “And will Nick be sitting on your lap?” Now, I love me some Nick DeMatteo, but I really have to profess that love to be platonic and based strictly on an appreciation of his myriad artistic skills, not potential lap dancing, so I politely replied, “Um, who?”
“Your son? Nick?”
A second boarding pass for a Nicholas Ryan had also printed. I explained that I had no son named Nick and the sons I did have were now really big and would balked at any physical interaction. She resolved the issue by stuffing Phantom Nick’s board pass into her pocket and announcing we were ready to go.
5) Romance must take place before you get on line. The goddess offered to drive me to the airport (bonus advice: if at all possible, hook up with a god or goddess, that one move will make life worth living), and we planned to breakfast together and then smooch at the gate a la Casablanca. Wrong. In Terrorism World, the airport is the least romantic place on Earth (yes, even less romantic than the dentist’s office, a colonoscopy room, or divorce court). The lesson here is that all the romance goes before the airport. Rumple the sheets before you leave. Hold hands in the inevitable traffic. Find a nice diner.
6) Seating on the plane is crucial. The forward section is best and costs more. The middle is pretty smooth and costs less than first class. Economy is a thrill ride.
Call me Indiana Jones.
First class was two suburban blocks away. I had the perfect seat to serve as bathroom monitor. If it is possible to top such perfect accommodations, the combination of engine roar thundering by on either side and my location’s ability to allow me to experience every shake and roll of take off worked in tandem to put me in direct contact with God.
It had been so long since I prayed this fervently that I feared Our Creator might be disclined to hear me out, so I addressed my desperate pleas for deliverance to Mary because, as a Mom, she is allegedly a softer touch.
And then a voice that was not a voice but a spoke unto me, saying “Listen to podcasts, loudly.”
And I was delivered.
(Yes, this Divine Intervention strongly suggests the Blessed Mother is a Joanna Penn fan. Makes sense to me.)
7) Risk a look at heaven. Hey, the nuns always said God’s eternal reward was in the clouds, so take a peek…
Alas, these acres of eternity were sparsely populated – another omen?
8) Entertain yourself while waiting out the chaos of everyone trying to “deboard” at once…
… I watched my luggage deboard more efficiently than I did.
9) Once back on the ground, savor life’s blessing ...
… At least until the flight home.